The unavoidable truth regarding divorce is that life will change. Even though many Illinois residents feel as though they have no control over their lives during this time, they can take numerous steps that would help them create a life after the divorce is final.

Some people only look at how they will fare during the short-term. All they want is to get through the process as quickly as possible. However, the more issues you work to equitably and fairly resolve during the divorce, the better off you could be in the future. It may take some time, but covering all the bases just makes sense.

Steps to take before and during the divorce

You may want to consider every aspect of your life in order to make sure that you set yourself up for success post-divorce. It can be easy to forget that even minor details could have a big impact on your future. Below are the primary issues that require your attention during a divorce:

  • If you have children, your primary concern will more than likely be making sure you receive as much time with them as possible. Your children may also be lucky enough that they have two good parents who want what is best for them and will put aside their differences to provide for their futures.
  • If you own a marital home, you will need to determine what to do with it without emotion. Taking on a home is a large monetary commitment, and if you aren’t financially equipped to do so, it would certainly jeopardize your future.
  • Work toward as fair a division of the marital property as possible. Even though you may need to compromise in some areas, you don’t have to give up your future just to “keep the peace” and make a deal.
  • Don’t forget about your marital debts since you will most likely end up responsible for at least some of it in a fair agreement.
  • Before entering into settlement negotiations, create as realistic a post-divorce budget as possible. Your financial capabilities will undoubtedly change, and you need to know what you can afford as you move into your new life.

Even after you finish negotiating a settlement and get it approved by the court, you will probably need to take additional steps to make sure you finalize everything between you and your future former spouse. For example, if you took one family vehicle and your ex-spouse took the other, you will need to make sure each of you receives titles with only your individual names on them. Any marital asset you received needs to be in your name.

Keep in mind that even if your ex-spouse took on a certain joint debt, the creditor or lender does not have to honor your divorce settlement. If your former spouse fails to pay that debt, you could end up legally responsible for it. It may be worthwhile to make sure your divorce settlement addresses legally binding consequences should this happen. In fact, you may want to consult with an attorney to make sure your rights and best interests are protected as you create your new life.