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DuPage County divorce attorneysSpouses who are getting divorced can, and often do, fight about virtually anything, but issues involving money are often among the most difficult to resolve. This can be especially true if one or both spouses have substantial wealth or high net-worth. However, planning is important for divorcing couples, no matter how much money they have. If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and your assets.

Gather Relevant Information

When you were getting married, you probably did not wait until a week before your wedding to start looking for a caterer or venue for the reception. Unfortunately, many people approach divorce in exactly this way. They do not do anything about the situation until their spouse actually files the petition for divorce.

It is a good idea to start preparing as soon as divorce becomes a real possibility. There is absolutely no harm in getting financial information together. Most experts recommend going back about five years and gathering as much as you can, including account statements, transaction receipts, tax returns, credit card bills, investment paperwork, and any other items that could provide details about your finances. If you are unsure about a particular document, keep it just in case. Make copies of everything and have them available for your lawyer and the court once the proceedings get started.

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DuPage County family law attorneysThere are many factors which can complicate a divorce. One of the biggest of these is an uncooperative or untrustworthy spouse. Ending a marriage is already challenging, but adding a spouse who is not forthcoming about his or her finances makes it even harder. If you considering divorce and worried that your spouse will attempt to hide assets, read on to learn about how you can protect your financial rights during your Illinois divorce.

Illinois Courts Need an Accurate Representation of Financial Status to Divide Property

Before marital property can be divided in a divorce, spouses must list their assets and debts in a financial disclosure. Once the spouses know their complete financial picture, they can begin deciding how this property should be divided between them. If the spouses cannot come to an agreement about property division, the court system will decide for them.

Property acquired before the marriage is usually considered separate property while any property acquired by either spouse after the marriage is martial property. There are certain exceptions to these general categorizations. For example, when marital and separate property is mixed together or “comingled,” it may be considered entirely marital property. Certain gifts and inheritances are also considered separate property even if they were acquired during the marriage.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysGoing through any break-up is difficult, but the legal and financial implications surrounding divorce make the break-up of a marriage one of the most challenging life events a person will endure. If you plan to get divorced or are considering it, you probably have many concerns – financial and otherwise. Read on to learn about some of the most common money mistakes people make when getting divorced and how to avoid them.

Remaining Ignorant of Your Financial Situation

In many marriages, one person handles the finances and the other simply trusts him or her to do so accurately and adequately. This may work fine during the marriage, but it leaves one spouse at a significant disadvantage during divorce. If you have not been involved in your family’s financial affairs and plan to divorce, it is highly recommended that you get up to speed as soon as possible. Make copies of essential financial records including checking and savings account statements, retirement and brokerage account statements, tax returns, and credit card bills.

Using Expensive and Destructive Coping Mechanisms

Understandably, many people getting divorced struggle to cope with the emotional trauma of their marriage ending. Some develop unhealthy coping mechanisms or revert to destructive habits in response to the emotional burden. Drinking too much, gambling, or using drugs to cope with the pain of divorce cannot only damage a person’s health and wallet, but also their divorce settlement.

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