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Why Planning Is Important in Protecting Your Assets During a Divorce

Posted on in Division of Assets

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.

Start Separating Your Finances

You should also consider opening new accounts in your name only. This ensures that you will access to the funds in those accounts while preventing your spouse from taking everything. Joint accounts are often disputed during divorce, and the court could even freeze your jointly owned accounts while the proceedings are underway.  With guidance from your attorney, you might decide to move some of the money in your joint accounts into your own account. Be sure to keep track of the transfers, however, and do not spend the money recklessly.

Marital and Separate Property

Under Illinois law, almost anything that you and spouse acquired during your marriage is considered marital property—with very few exceptions. The law also requires marital property to be divided in an equitable manner during your divorce.

To facilitate this process, you should make a list of everything that you own as a couple. Pay special attention to those items or assets that you think should be considered non-marital property. If you owned the item or asset before you got married, you should get to keep it, but you might need to show proof that it was yours before the marriage. You can also start thinking about the marital property you would like to keep after the divorce and what you are willing to let your spouse have without a fight.

Call a Naperville Divorce Lawyer

For more information about planning ahead and simplifying your divorce, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney at Pesce Law Group, P.C. today. Call 630-352-2240 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and case review with a skilled member of our team. We will help you explore your available options and begin building the happier future that you deserve.

 

Sources:

https://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/17/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do-protecting-assets-in-divorce.html

https://wealthpilgrim.com/5-steps-protect-credit-crumbling-marriage/

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