Preparing for a Divorce in the New Year

Dec 29, 2020 | Covid-19, Divorce

January Typically Sees an Uptick in Divorce Filings and Inquiries

The month of January typically comes with a 30 percent increase in divorce filings. Why is this the case? The combination of aiming to avoid the divorce process during the holiday season and an intent to start fresh during the new year results in January appearing as an ideal time to initiate the divorce process. The existence of COVID-19 will surely exacerbate the prevalence of January divorces, as many couples have reached a breaking point due to the pandemic’s stressors. If you believe 2021 is the year you would like to pursue a divorce, there are steps you can take before the 2021 ball drops that will ensure your maximum preparedness.

Make Sure You Are Confident in Your Decision

Before you officially decide to pursue a divorce, ensure it is truly want you want. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Will I be happier without my current spouse?
  • Have I discussed my wish for a divorce with my spouse?
  • What negative outcomes would getting a divorce entail?
  • How will a divorce impact my children, or other loved ones?
  • How will my quality of life change without my spouse?

In some cases, the answers to these questions will signal that you are in fact making the right decision if you go through with a divorce. In other cases, considering the answer to these questions may signal that your marital problems have the potential to be resolved. Sitting down and contemplating if divorce is the right path for you is crucial.

Familiarize Yourself with Relevant Information

If you ultimately do decide divorce is the right choice for you and your future, one step you can take to prepare is becoming familiar with what you and your spouse owe, by examining any existing debts.

It is additionally important to take inventory of all of your property, marital and nonmarital. Illinois is an “equitable division” property state, which means that property is divided “equitably”, or fairly. Property is not simply divided down the middle. “Marital property” vs. “non-marital” property must be distinguished, because only marital property is split in an Illinois divorce. Property that should be included when you take inventory includes real estate assets, vehicles you own, life insurance holdings, financial accounts and valuables such as jewelry.

Gather Necessary Documents

It is also important to gather crucial documents that will be required to be presented during the divorce process. These documents include estate planning documents, tax returns, real estate documents, passports, social security cards and any proof of income documents such as paystubs. Gathering these materials will save you stress and time in the long run, avoiding a rush to find them when their presentation is requested. Make sure you keep these documents in a safe place.

Consult with an Experienced Attorney

Obtaining experienced legal counsel is crucial, as a lawyer is aware of the unique divorce laws that govern the state of Illinois. It is impossible to be aware of your rights during the divorce process without guided representation. At the Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C. we assess each unique case, in order to formulate a plan that results in the most beneficial outcome for our clients. There are no do-overs in the divorce process. Obtaining the future you hope for hinges on picking the right attorney. For a free consultation, contact us: 815-997-5200 or fill out our online contact form.