Financial Planning Tips for Divorce

Updated on July 5, 2024
Updated: July 1, 2024

Filing a divorce can seem like an overwhelming process, and it makes sense. After all, you have most likely spent many years of your life with this person and the unraveling of that is difficult. 

One of the most common stressors that people find in the divorce process is the financial aspect of divorce. Having to divvy up everything from your retirement accounts to your life insurance policy is stressful and it can be hard to figure out what the best way is to prepare for divorce financially.

Our divorce attorneys in Orland Park will help you navigate the complexities of divorce-related financial issues, ensuring that you make informed decisions that protect your interests. Call our firm at (708) 232-0017 to schedule a free consultation and start planning for a secure financial future. 

Assessing Your Financial Situation

The very first step you will want to take is to assess your financial situation. To do this you will want to gather all of your financial documents including records of all assets and accounts, both individual and joint accounts. 

Once you have all of your documents gathered, it is time to create a detailed inventory of assets and liabilities. It is often recommended to work with a financial advisor at this stage to ensure that there aren't any errors. This will also make the process easier when it is time to show your information to your divorce attorney since everything will be well organized and easy to understand. 

Setting Realistic Expectations

After you have assessed your financial situation, it's time to decide what you are expecting out of your divorce. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement that specifies how much each spouse will receive, the state of Illinois and both parties' lawyers will be responsible for coming up with an agreement for how much each spouse will receive. 

This means that chances are, you will not be walking away with 90% of everything that you saved during the marriage. Instead, it will be an equitable division of assets which will mean that you might walk away with 50% or even less than that depending on a number of factors.

money and wedding rings on a desk

Going into a divorce it is important to set realistic expectations for yourself as well as identify your financial goals and priorities leaving the marriage. This is when seeking legal advice is especially important. Working with an experienced lawyer from the state of Illinois will help you understand how your assets might be divided up before you even initiate the legal process of divorce

Budgeting for Post-Divorce Life

As you are going through the divorce process and mediation is taking place, you will start to get a better idea of what your financial situation might be post-divorce.

Even before the divorce settlement is official, it is wise to start to develop a post-divorce budget based on your predicted new income and assets. A financial advisor will be able to help you develop the budget and give you financial advice based on your new income levels. You may find yourself needing to cut back on certain monthly expenses to be able to live comfortably on your new income. 

If you will be required to pay alimony to your spouse after your certified divorce, you will also want to include that in your financial plan to ensure that you are setting the necessary money aside to cover all your future expenses. 

Protecting Your Financial Interests

The post-divorce financial planning process can be complicated, especially with the number of factors that come into play such as child support payments and prenuptial agreements. However, even with all of these factors, it is still possible to protect your financial interests.

Learn More: How Much Does an Illinois Divorce Cost?

An experienced lawyer will be able to work with your spouse's lawyer to come up with an agreement that satisfies both of your needs and protects your assets during and after divorce proceedings. This is especially important if you came into the marriage with assets that you gained before you got married. Examples of these assets could be a house that you purchased on your own, an inheritance, or any other investments that you made before you married your spouse. 

Negotiating a Fair Settlement

In the state of Illinois, marital assets are not divided based on a 50/50 division of assets. Instead, the state goes for an equitable distribution of assets. This means that multiple factors are taken into account including individual incomes and whether or not one spouse stayed at home during the marriage.  

A good example of how this might work is if one spouse earns significantly less, the higher-earning spouse will typically have to pay them alimony. This is to help them to have a similar style of life after the divorce that they had during the divorce. The length of time that alimony is paid for will typically depend on the length of the marriage, but this is something that can be negotiated in the divorce agreement. 

Whether or not minor children are involved will also be a huge factor in terms of negotiating a fair financial settlement. The parent who has primary custody of the children or who performs the majority of the child care will typically receive child support payments from the other parent. If it is a true 50/50 split in terms of the children no child support may be necessary, but all of this can be negotiated with the lawyers.

Seek Professional Guidance

Finally, the most important piece of advice that we can give you is to seek professional guidance. After your divorce, almost everything will need to be reconfigured including your retirement plans, estate planning documents, joint credit accounts, and any other bank accounts. To ensure a stable financial future, you will want to work with financial professionals and experienced lawyers throughout the divorce.

Consult With a Financial Advisor

In the many different financial aspects of divorce, some things will need to be altered and separated as your divorce is being finalized. Financial professionals will be able to take this load off of you and ensure that everything is done correctly, setting you up for the best financial future possible. 

a gavel, cash, and blocks spelling divorce on a table

If the divorce is occurring based on some sort of fraud or other crime, you may want to consult with a forensic accountant in addition to your regular financial advisor and divorce lawyer. An accountant will go over your tax returns, credit reports, real estate, savings account statements, and any other legal document that could be relevant to search for evidence of fraud or dishonesty. 

Work With a Family Law Attorney to Protect Your Interests

In addition to creating a financial plan with a financial advisor, you will want to work with an experienced family law attorney to negotiate the best divorce settlement possible. After your divorce, you may also want to work with an estate planning attorney to redo your will and any other estate documents that are no longer up to date post-divorce. 

Contact Our Firm for Help With Your Divorce

When you go into a divorce, there are some key considerations that you'll need to make. First and foremost, you will want to take a good, honest look at all of your financial assets and liabilities to get a real understanding of what your financial situation is.

After you have an understanding of that, it is time to establish what you want in terms of your retirement assets, tangible assets, and investment accounts. Make sure to keep your expectations realistic and inform yourself about how asset division is managed in the state of Illinois.

Finally, you will want to seek professional advice from both financial professionals and legal professionals. They will be the ones to guide you on the technicalities of assembling your financial documents and writing up a divorce agreement that will keep your priorities in mind, while also being fair to your spouse. 

If you are going through a divorce and need guidance contact us at (708) 232-0017. At Tommalieh Law, we understand how difficult it can be to go through a divorce, but we are ready to walk with you every step of the way. 

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