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Key points to remember at the end of a marriage in Illinois

Getting a divorce in Illinois can be a difficult matter to deal with, but this is made worse if the participants do not take certain steps before moving forward with the end of the marriage. Prior to getting a divorce, there are unavoidable emotions that will come to the forefront, but that should not hinder the spouses from ensuring that their financial future has been considered and is accounted for. Doing so can assist with the process and make an unavoidably difficult time easier.

Financial advice and having an experienced adviser is paramount. This is particularly true for the spouse who was not in charge of the money during the marriage. Having a person who is trustworthy and experienced to explain how the divorce will influence the future and what must be done with bank accounts, credit scores, retirement accounts and more is wise. Many people will forget to get hard copies of their financial information. Given the ease with which this information can be gleaned through computers, this can be glossed over. When going to court, financial information must be provided. If it is an especially contentious divorce, one spouse might remove the other spouse's access to the financial accounts and leave them with no method of getting this vital information.

Emotions are inevitable in a divorce, but they can cause problems if the spouses give in and let them influence their decisions. For example, a spouse might not want to be agreeable because they are interested in making life as difficult as possible for the other spouse as an act of vengeance. Doing so might feel good in the short run, but, overall, it only causes more pain for the person causing the dispute. With bank accounts, some spouses may try to outsmart the other with hidden bank accounts, "gifts" to others, and other methods of sleight of hand. This will generally be found out and sow disfavor with the court.

Changing one's lifestyle is necessary whether the spouses realize it or not. Finances will be different regardless of the financial standing. Issues that were not considered before, such as paying rent or a mortgage, utilities, supporting a spouse and children or more can be complex. Understanding the changes that must be made and accepting them is key. Personal feelings must be put aside to get the process over with so the spouses can move on with their lives. Obviously, with a divorce, having legal advice is crucial. A lawyer with extensive experience in divorces of all kinds should be contacted immediately for advice and assistance.

Source: businessinsider.com, "7 things you should never do if you're about to get divorced," Emmie Martin, Feb. 8, 2017

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