Are you considering or pursuing divorce in Illinois? If so, thorough preparation is essential because it will allow you to navigate this challenging and emotional process with clarity and confidence. Effective preparation enables you to approach your divorce with a clear mind and realistic expectations, reducing the likelihood of unnecessary stress and confusion. Preparing well also sets you up to make informed decisions and better protect your family’s interests. Finally, being prepared can lead to a more efficient legal process, potentially saving time and resources as you move toward a fresh start.
Steps to Take As You Prepare for Divorce in Illinois
Preparing for divorce is never easy, but you can take certain steps to make the process smoother and less stressful, such as:
Make Sure You Meet the Residency Requirements
To file for divorce in Illinois, you must have lived in the state for at least 90 days before you can file. This rule ensures that Illinois courts have the jurisdiction to handle your divorce. If you recently moved to Illinois, wait until you’ve lived there for 90 days before filing. This step is crucial because if you don’t meet this requirement, the court won’t process your divorce.
Gather All the Documents You’ll Need
Identify and collect all relevant documents before starting your divorce. These include financial records like bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, and other documentation of debts and assets. Also, gather marriage-related documents, such as your marriage certificate and prenuptial agreement, if you have one. Having these papers ready helps your lawyer and other involved parties understand your financial situation and make fair determinations about property division, child support, and alimony. Organize these documents and keep them together in a secure, accessible place.
Visualize and Write Down Your Goals
Think about what you want after your divorce. This includes factors like living arrangements, finances, and child custody plans. Then, jot down everything that comes to mind so you can refer back to it later. Writing down your goals helps you focus on what’s most important during the divorce process. Consider both immediate and long-term needs. Be realistic and honest with yourself about what you want and what is possible. Having clear goals can guide your decisions and discussions with your attorney.
Meet with a Trusted Divorce Attorney
Find a knowledgeable divorce attorney who understands Illinois law. A good attorney can guide you through the legal process, offer advice, and represent your interests. Look for an attorney with experience in cases similar to yours. When you meet with them, bring your documents and discuss your goals candidly. Ask questions to understand your options and what to expect. You should also ask about their fees. Choosing the right attorney can make a big difference in how smoothly your divorce case proceeds.
Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney Now
If you still have questions about preparing for your divorce in Illinois, the Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C., can help. Contact our office today to speak with a compassionate divorce attorney in an initial consultation.