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Wheaton divorce lawyerAccording to statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth, around 22% of all marriages end within the first five years, and an estimated 53% of marriages dissolve by the 20-year mark. With these statistics in mind, it is not surprising that divorce is common for Americans. Getting a divorce has been said to be one of the most stressful life events, second only to the death of a loved one. One of the ways you can help alleviate some of this stress is by effectively preparing for the end of your marriage. Here are a few tips to help you get your affairs in order before you begin your divorce:

Get a Clear Picture of Your Finances

First, you should have full knowledge of your financial situation. It is not uncommon for one spouse to be more in tune with the family's finances than the other. However, it is important to be in the loop when it comes to your income, assets, expenses, and other financial matters, since everything will be divided in the end. Make a list of all of your marital assets and debts so you can figure out what you actually own and owe. Next, make a preliminary budget for what you need to live off of after the divorce is said and done. This will help you figure out what you should fight for during the asset division process and whether you might be eligible to receive spousal maintenance.

Talk With Your Children

If you have children, you are probably worried about how your divorce will affect them. Many parents are hesitant about getting a divorce, because they do not want to hurt their children. However, ending a marriage that is full of conflict and arguments can often be the best thing for your kids. Studies have shown that children who have divorced parents often have fewer emotional issues than those whose parents stayed together but were unhappy with each other. If you have children, the first step to a healthy transition period is to talk to them about the divorce and explain to them what is happening. You might be surprised at how much they understand, and they may even have a positive opinion about the upcoming changes to their lives.

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Wheaton uncontested divorce lawyerWhile it is true that some couples do not end their marriages on the best of terms, many divorces are amicable, with both partners knowing that divorce is the best option for everyone. Getting a divorce means you will have to make some difficult decisions about your life and your children’s lives. Even though you may not agree on everything, your divorce does not have to be a strenuous process. An uncontested divorce can be preferable and beneficial for everyone involved -- that is, if you are able to cooperate and negotiate with your spouse.

Understanding an Uncontested Divorce

In the most basic of definitions, an uncontested divorce is simply one that is able to be negotiated and settled without the intervention of a court or a judge. There are certain things that all divorcing couples will have to decide before they can complete their divorce. These issues can include:

Naperville divorce attorneyFor some, divorce can feel like a fresh start after being in an unhappy marriage; however, divorce can also bring out the worst in people. Many partners think they know their spouse, but there are times that a divorce can change a person completely, prompting them to act in ways that their spouse never imagined. Some divorcing couples become extremely argumentative and combative, making the divorce more difficult and emotionally stressful for everyone in the family. Whether you anticipated your spouse’s difficult behavior or were surprised by their attitude, here are a few tips to help you get through a divorce with a high-conflict spouse:

Minimize Contact With Your Spouse

One of the most important things you can do to deal with a high-conflict spouse is to limit your contact with them. Avoid speaking to them unless it is necessary for your divorce or for parenting reasons. When you do contact them, try to do so in written form, such as texting or emailing, to make it easy to record the conversation in case it may be necessary to provide evidence of your interactions. 

Remember to Pause and Breathe

High-conflict spouses will often do anything they can to get underneath your skin. They will try to push all of your buttons to get a reaction out of you, because for them, conflict is enjoyable and can be used to their advantage in the divorce proceedings. Do your best not to give them the reaction they are looking for. Take a deep breath, formulate a response, and then talk to them in a calm and collective manner. 

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Wheaton, IL divorce attorneyEvery couple is different, but it is not uncommon for one spouse to have most of the responsibility when it comes to the family’s finances. This can be troublesome during a divorce, because the spouse who did not handle the money during the marriage often gets the short end of the stick, especially when it comes to the asset division process. Divorce can wreak havoc on your financial well-being, especially when it comes to your credit score. If you are getting divorced, it is important to take control of your finances and ensure you come out of the divorce without taking a huge hit to your financial health and credit score.

Tips to Maintain and Improve Your Credit Score

Simply getting a divorce will not affect your credit score. However, other things that happen during a divorce can affect your credit for the worse. To protect your credit score and make sure you come out of the divorce with acceptable credit, here are a few tips you should follow:

  • Joint accounts should be closed. If you and your spouse share any checking, savings, or credit card accounts, you should stop using these accounts and close them immediately, if possible. If your spouse has control over an account with your name on it, you may be responsible for any charges or expenditures they make. Leaving accounts open, especially credit card accounts, is playing with fire.

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