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Knowing one's financial situation wise during divorce

The divorce process often leaves two parties wounded in Illinois. This is because divorce can be emotionally challenging as well as financially damaging. A few tips may help people to navigate the divorce process.

First, it is important for people to gather their financial records. It is ideal to have documents from the past five years, including payroll stubs, tax returns, property information, investment accounts, benefits information and bank statements. It is wise to create copies of all of these documents and then store them outside of the home. Having access to all financials will help to speed up the divorce and will safeguard a person in the event that something ends up going missing.

It is also wise to inventory one's assets. Separate property refers to any property that one owned before getting married, including any inheritances or gifts given specifically to one. Any items accumulated during marriage are typically considered marital property. Understanding one's financial situation is also important to emerging from a divorce as financially healthy as possible. This includes knowing one's credit score and paying attention to one's outstanding debts.

Although divorce can be painful in Illinois, a person may feel more in control of the process by going through divorce negotiation or mediation. Through these alternative methods to litigation, two divorcing individuals can work toward a settlement that is mutually beneficial and satisfactory when addressing matters such as property division. With proper legal guidance, people can pursue their fair share of assets and strive for a divorce settlement that is ultimately in their best interests financially.

Source: nerdwallet.com, "6 Critical Steps to Prepare Your Finances for Divorce", Shawn Leamon, July 5, 2016

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