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DuPage County divorce attorneyGetting a divorce is a stressful process for most people. In many cases, it can be difficult for a person going through a divorce to look toward the future and preemptively plan for something like their finances. However, it is extremely important that you begin looking at your financial situation before or during the divorce process so you do not suffer unnecessarily after everything is said and done. Most people who go through a divorce experience some sort of change in their financial situation, especially when it comes to their income and financial goals. Making a solid financial plan before you are thrust into post-divorce life can be helpful and even crucial for success after divorce.

Assessing Your Financial Situation

In many marriages, only one of the spouses really knows the details of the family’s finances. This person is commonly referred to as the “in spouse” while the other spouse is referred to as the “out spouse.” The “in spouse” is typically the person who pays the bills each month, does the investing, and possibly consults with a financial planner. Because of this, the “in spouse” usually has a leg up in a divorce because they have a better understanding of the household finances. If you are the “out spouse,” the first thing you should do as you prepare for divorce is to assess the situation and attempt to gain an understanding of your finances.

Seeking Professional Help

In most cases, the best thing for the “out spouse” to do is to seek help from a professional who is familiar with financial planning. In a divorce, the best type of person to contact is usually a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). These professionals are highly trained and are certified to examine and analyze different financial aspects of divorce. Their job is to help you understand how the decisions you make about your finances can affect your future after the divorce. The CDFA will also help you understand any tax implications during the asset division process, determine whether or not you can afford to keep the family home, and explain how your retirement accounts may be affected.

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DuPage County divorce lawyerMaking the decision to divorce your spouse is a huge step. In many cases, making that decision takes months, if not years, to solidify and begin the process. One of the first steps in the process is to find a divorce attorney who can help you accomplish your goals in your divorce. Before you hire just any attorney, however, you would be wise to set up initial consultations with any lawyers you are considering working with. An initial consultation is a way for you to meet the attorney, ask questions, get to know your attorney, and discover how they can help you and what they can provide during your divorce. Many people getting a divorce find the process of hiring an attorney to be intimidating, but as long as you are prepared, your consultation can be a productive one.

Make Sure You Come Prepared

When you go to a divorce consultation, you are in control. You will get the most out of your divorce consultation if you bring information to the meeting. The more information you are able to bring, the more productive your consultation will be. You should try to bring basic information about your financial situation, like recent pay stubs and tax returns. If you and your spouse have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you should bring that. You should also be prepared with basic information about you, your spouse, and your children, along with things like the date you were married and the date you and your spouse began your separation.

Ask About the Attorney’s Experience and Fees

An important thing to ask the attorney about is their experience handling divorce cases and how much they charge for the average case. You should be looking for an attorney who has experience dealing with the types of issues that you may be facing, such as divorcing as a business owner or dealing with divorces involving domestic violence.

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DuPage County divorce attorneyBeing a physician can be an extremely rewarding career, but it can also be very demanding. In some positions, doctors can work long, tireless hours on their feet for days in a row, all for the benefit of their patients. Unfortunately, this can often be at the expense of their families. More hours at work often means less time spent with the family, which in some cases, can end up leading to a divorce. According to a study published in 2015, the divorce rate among physicians was around 24.3 percent, making divorce fairly common among doctors.

Considerations During Divorce

All divorce cases have the potential to be complex, though for physicians, there is a higher chance of certain elements such as owning a private practice that could possibly complicate your divorce. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when divorcing as a physician:

  • Marital and nonmarital property may not be as clear-cut as you think. In the state of Illinois, only marital property, defined as any property that either spouse acquires during the marriage, is subject to division. This means your business or private practice could be marital property if you started the business during the marriage. This would also mean that your spouse is entitled to a portion of the business. It is also important to note that debts are included in the division of property. If you incurred debt, including student loan debt, while you were married, both spouses could be responsible for repaying it.

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Naperville IL divorce attorneyIt is no secret that divorce can be messy. Emotions and tensions can run high, causing large amounts of stress that not everyone can handle. In some situations, a spouse may end up just fleeing or leaving the state entirely to get away from the situation or in an attempt to avoid getting a divorce. In other situations, a person may end up filing for divorce because their spouse has already disappeared. Whatever the situation, an absent spouse can be frustrating and can add steps to the divorce process, but it is still possible to complete the divorce, even if you are not sure where your spouse is located.

Getting a Divorce by Default

In any divorce case, the process is first started by filing a petition for divorce with the court in the county in which you reside. Typically, your spouse would then have 30 days from the filing of the petition to respond and notify the court of their appearance (or non-appearance) at the initial hearing. If they do not respond to the petition, or you do not know their whereabouts to serve their petition, it is still possible to get a divorce through alternate methods in Illinois.

A judge may grant you a default divorce judgment if your spouse is unwilling to cooperate with the divorce process or if your spouse’s whereabouts are unknown. Before the judge does this, however, they will want to know that you have done everything you can to find your missing spouse. During your divorce hearing, the judge will ask you what you have done to locate your spouse and will want to know specifics. Examples of looking for your spouse may include:

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DuPage County divorce attorneyWhen you get a divorce, there are dozens of things that you will have to do before the dissolution of your marriage is finalized. Many important issues must be settled, such as determining how you will divide your marital property and working out a parenting plan, and it is easy for some details to be forgotten or left on the back burner. Though your tax situation may not be at the forefront of your mind during the divorce, addressing it is important nonetheless. Here are three tax considerations that you should be sure to keep in mind.

Update Your Tax Filing Status

When you file your taxes each year, you will need to note your filing status, which influences the deductions you can claim and the income tax you may owe. Many married couples file their taxes as “married filing jointly,” but once you are divorced, you must revert to filing as “single” or “head of household” depending on your circumstances. However, your filing status will depend on when your divorce is actually finalized. The IRS considers you to be married for the entire year if your divorce was not finalized by December 31 of that tax year. On the other hand, you are considered to be divorced and unmarried for the entire year if your divorce is granted by December 31.

Determine Who Will Claim Dependents

If you and your spouse filed a joint tax return in the past, you may have both benefited from being able to claim your children as dependents. However, when you are divorced and file separate tax returns, only one parent can claim each child. You and your spouse will have to determine who claims each child and how the tax benefits may affect your allocation of property.

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