If you’re considering divorce, it can be a scary proposition. Your entire life is about to change and the future is uncertain. It doesn’t have to feel like such a daunting task. Family Lawyer Darius Sethna has vast experience making the divorce process as easy as possible for clients. There are many things that you can do in preparation for your divorce that will make the process feel more manageable. These tips can help you make sure you are in a position to take care of yourself, your family, your finances, and your future.
Decide Whether Mediation, Collaborative Divorce, Or Traditional Negotiation Is Right For You
Before you file for divorce, you and your spouse should consider whether mediation, collaborative divorce, or traditional negotiation is right for you. Family lawyer Darius Sethna will help you with the option that you believe is best for your family.
- Mediation – When you and your partner agree on most things, a mediator may be the best option. This is a neutral third party that will help you reach a settlement together. The mediator doesn’t make or persuade you to make any particular decisions. Rather, they guide you towards a mutual understanding on all relevant issues.
- Collaborative Divorce – Through this process, each partner will retain a collaborative divorce lawyer. You may also seek the support of additional experts (financial specialists or child specialists, for example). Your collaborative divorce team will use negotiation to reach agreement on all aspects of your divorce. This process may work if you have an amicable relationship and need the experts to give you additional advice, information, and guidance about all of your options.
- Traditional Negotiation – This is most familiar to people. Each spouse hires their own lawyer. Rather than coming together to negotiate, each person tells their lawyer what they want and what their goals are. Then, the lawyers negotiate in an attempt to get their client what they want. This process can be a bit more adversarial because when this approach is taken, the parties involved have difficulty agreeing to specific terms.
Evaluate your current and future financial needs
One of the biggest financial decisions you’ll face is housing. You need to consider how much money you’ll need for housing whether you decide to: stay in your current home and continue paying the mortgage or rent, purchase or rent another home, or sell your current home. You need to know how to budget for this.
You will also need to evaluate your current financial state. How much money do you make? How much debt do you have? What expenses do you have? This information will help you create a budget, so you can start making determinations about what will happen after the divorce.
If you believe it is necessary and you currently have joint finances (bank accounts, credit cards, etc…) it may be time for you to secure independent accounts. The money you separate out will likely still be considered marital property in Illinois, but it is important that you are able to make independent purchasing decisions and that you have an account for making or receiving alimony or child support payments. In general, it will make things easier in the long run.
As a family lawyer Darius Sethna has helped many clients assess their current and future financial situations. He will be able to evaluate your income, assets, debts, and other liabilities to help you come up with a solid financial plan that can be realized with an appropriate divorce settlement.
Gather important documents
It’s important to gather documentation before filing for divorce because it will help you determine the value of your assets and debts. It will also help you establish what is and is not marital property. The best way to do this is by obtaining copies of any legal documents such as:
- Pension and retirement plan documents
- Tax returns
- Paycheck Stubs for you and your partner
- Mortgage statements or documents related to the purchase of property
- Bank and investment account statements
- Life insurance policies
- Debt statements – Loans, credit bills, etc…
- Titles and registration to all vehicles owned
Documents provide supporting evidence about what happened during your marriage. Whether you are working collaboratively or through a more traditional process, these items are necessary to ensure there is a complete understanding of the short term and long term issues that may arise. Once you have everything ready, your family lawyer Darius Sethna, can help you move forward with your case.
Hire a qualified attorney, like family lawyer Darius Sethna
When you’re ready to file for divorce in Illinois, it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Family lawyer Darius Sethna, has been helping families in Illinois pursue divorce and obtain settlements or judgments that ensure their futures are secure. Contact Sethna Cook today for a consultation.