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Financial preparation tips for divorce

Illinois couples dealing with the prospect of divorce may find that money is one of the most significant areas of focus as the terms are negotiated. In addition to dealing with child custody and property division, there is a need to consider how this life change will affect one’s standard of living. In many cases, issues like child support, alimony, and work history can impact the financial status of both parties. Experts recommend that certain issues be considered prior to starting the divorce process so that appropriate preparations can be made for the changes to come.

One of the first steps is to review household and personal financial status and future needs. In a high asset divorce, it may be possible to maintain a comparable standard of living. However, many people may need to adjust to a more modest lifestyle due to the splitting of property and resources. It’s wise to have a clear view prior to divorcing so that these adjustments can be handled as the action proceeds.

Alimony may be a consideration if one of the spouses has been out of the workforce for an extended period of time. Because alimony is not a permanent source of income, a spouse who receives this maintenance benefit will need to plan for career training and eventual employment. A family home may be a source of comfort and stability for children, but it could be costly for a divorced parent to maintain. Downsizing may be a necessary consideration. Similarly, health insurance can be expensive, making this a priority budget item.

In negotiating the terms of divorce, legal representation can be helpful for sorting through financial details. Areas such as retirement accounts, stocks, and real estate can be complicated, and a spouse might not know that they have a right to a share of such assets. A lawyer may also conduct an investigation in order to ensure that all relevant assets are disclosed.