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Four Steps to Take Before Filing for Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, but have not discussed your wishes with your spouse yet, there are several steps you should take before you announce your intentions. These steps may be especially important if you suspect that your spouse will not react well to your request for a divorce or separation.

1. Make copies of important paperwork.

When filing for divorce you will need copies of important financial statements. This includes tax returns for the last three years, statements for retirement accounts, and credit cards. Instead of paying to get copies after you are separated, make copies before announcing your intention to file if you suspect your spouse may become difficult.

2. Build up a cash reserve.

You will need your own funds to live off of, as well as a way to pay your legal fees. It is never a good idea to plan to rely on joint credit cards or bank accounts, as your spouse may choose to close these once you've announced your intention to file for divorce. In order to avoid putting yourself in a situation where you become desperate for money, spend at least six months building up a cash reserve to get you through the tough periods.

3. Take care of the children.

Choosing to file for divorce is a difficult personal decision. When children are involved, this may be doubly so, as you wonder how this decision will affect your children. Separation and divorce are often very hard for children to handle, and the positive times you spend with them before filing for divorce may help carry them through the difficult period to come.

4. Contact a lawyer.

Divorce laws vary widely from state to state, and can be very tricky to navigate. Instead of trying to find your way alone, contact a qualified  Illinois divorce attorney to help you understand what your rights are, and to ensure that your interests are fairly represented.

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