How To Protect Yourself When You Know Divorce Is Coming
There comes a time when it is clear that a marriage is not working, and divorce will probably happen. Once you begin to consider splitting from your spouse seriously, there are things you can do to protect your future. Learn in this article about critical steps you can take when you know divorce is coming.
If you have questions about your impending divorce, our divorce lawyer in Schaumburg at Law Office of Fedor Kozlov can help today. Mr. Kozlov understands that divorce is a challenging and complex situation, and his team of skilled family law attorneys are ready to help create a future you and your family deserve.
Learn Everything You Can About Divorce Laws In Illinois
All states have different processes for divorce, and Illinois has specific laws you must follow. For example, fault-based reasons for divorce have been eliminated in Illinois. Today, the only grounds for divorce in the state is irreconcilable differences, which some refer to as a no-fault divorce. The law says that irreconcilable differences mean a marriage has broken down.
Also, recent changes to the law eliminated the mandatory waiting period before getting a divorce. There is no longer a compulsory six-month waiting period in the divorce law. However, if one of the spouses contests that there are irreconcilable differences, living separate and apart from the other party meets this ground for divorce, even if the other spouse disagrees. You do not need to live in separate homes to live separate and apart as long as you are not sharing a bed, having marital relations, or presenting yourself to the public as a couple.
Set Up A Support System
Divorce is emotionally draining for most people, and you can get through it better if you have the support of your friends and family. Share the divorce news with the people closest to you who will support you in this difficult time. Having a robust support system is especially crucial when you have children; you could need to call in others to help with the kids when you have a court hearing or even to simply give you a break as you deal with divorce paperwork. People who have a strong support network around them during divorce usually come through it with fewer negative effects.
Check Your Credit
During the divorce, you must provide detailed financial records of assets, accounts, and debts. You can get a handle on your financial picture by running a credit report on yourself. It may remind you about specific accounts that you forgot about. Understanding your credit score and overall finances will help if you decide to make any financial changes before you live independently.
You will need your paperwork when it is time to file for divorce. There will be court filings, financial documents, bank statements, and more. Create a calendar just for your divorce where you note all deadlines, meetings, hearings, and things you need to do.
Cancel Joint Credit Accounts
It only takes a few minutes to cancel your joint credit cards. Your spouse could run up thousands in debt in minutes, and you are liable if you are still on the account. Tell your spouse that you plan to cancel your joint credit accounts.
Go In With The Goal To Settle
Divorce is expensive, especially when the parties cannot agree on child support, child custody, property division, etc. If you cannot agree with your spouse on significant issues, you will wind up in court and spend a lot of money. It is best if the two of you can reach an amicable agreement regarding major marriage issues and stay out of court.
Consider divorce mediation to help you and your spouse agree without involving the courts. The mediator is a neutral third party trained to help divorcing couples resolve the most contentious issues. Mediation can save considerable time, money, and stress and is worth trying. Any agreement that is mediated between you will need to be approved by the judge.
Inventory Your Personal Property
Make a list of all property in the home; it will make it easier for the two of you to divide marital property during the divorce. You also will have a record if things disappear from the home during the process. With that in mind, you should take video and list contents in the home and be sure the time stamp feature is turned on. If you can, do this process with your spouse, but if you cannot, give them a copy of the video and property list.
The divorce process can be financially challenging, particularly when paying the bills with only one income. Meet with your partner and decide if there are expenses you can eliminate, such as food deliveries, streaming services, or magazine subscriptions.
Do Not Sign Anything Without Your Lawyer’s Knowledge
Some people who get a divorce make the mistake of signing a document or preliminary agreement without their attorney reviewing it first. If you sign something you should not, it could create problems with property division and custody later. If your spouse asks you to sign something, politely say you will, but you want your divorce attorney to review it first.
Secure Important Property
If you have valuable personal property, such as coins, firearms, or jewelry, find a safe place outside the home to store them. Consider opening a safe deposit box for small, valuable belongings. However, you can only store separate, non-marital property at a separate site. Anything purchased with marital funds will be considered joint property in the divorce.
Get A Separate Mailing Address
If you are worried about your spouse accessing your mail, get a PO box to ensure you only get your mail. You also can get Informed Delivery from the UPS Postal Service, which gives you emails each morning about the mail you will receive that day.
Report Domestic Violence
If there has been any domestic violence in the marriage, report it to the police immediately and file a police report. Also, talk to your attorney and tell them there is domestic violence in the home. Your attorney can help you obtain a restraining order if you think your spouse will commit violent acts against you or the children.
Things To Avoid When You Think Divorce Is Coming
You can protect yourself when divorce is coming by following the earlier tips. But there also are things you should not do when you believe you will get divorced. They are:
Talk About Your Spouse On Social Media
It is best not to say anything about troubles in your relationship on social media. The problem, especially in a contentious divorce, is that your partner could twist your words against you. If you have to post something on Facebook about your divorce, think carefully if you would be ok with the family court judge reading what you wrote. In most cases, it is best to speak privately to friends and family about what is going on in your marriage.
Criticize Your Spouse
Even if you get an Illinois uncontested divorce, there is a good chance that you and your partner will not see eye-to-eye on all issues. If you are frustrated, you have the urge to criticize your spouse during the divorce. Remember that negative, angry words make the situation worse, and be especially cautious about what you say to your children. The judge could determine that you are belittling your spouse and harming the children. This could negatively affect your ability to obtain custody or visitation rights.
Move In With A New Partner
It is understandable if you want to move into a new relationship even before the divorce is final. But before you pack your belongings and move in with a new partner, consider the repercussions. Starting a new relationship could complicate the logistics of the divorce and cause more anger with your spouse, potentially making a fair divorce settlement more difficult. Moving in with another party also could affect court decisions about child custody and property division.
Hide Marital Assets
Illinois law requires the judge to split the marital assets equitably, which is not necessarily 50/50. If you are tempted to hide assets so they are subject to property division, think again. During the divorce, you must give a sworn statement regarding your assets. If you hide anything, you could be held in contempt of court. Plus, the judge could move marital assets away from the spouse who tried to hide marital property.
Similarly, going on an excessive spending spree with marital assets is also a mistake. The judge could view this as misusing marital assets and ensure that the other spouse is paid back in the divorce agreement.
Contact Our Divorce Lawyer In Schaumburg Today
If you think divorce is coming, time is of the essence. The steps mentioned in this article should be taken quickly to ensure the best outcome for your case. If you need help with your divorce or have questions, contact our divorce lawyer in Schaumburg at Law Office of Fedor Kozlov. He can sit down with you today and discuss your case, so please call (847) 241-1299.