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Kane County IL divorce attorneyGetting a divorce can be a major emotional undertaking. While that does not come as a surprise to most people, many people do not realize that divorce also has a large financial impact. Most married couples have finances that are intertwined to some degree. Even though this makes things easier and usually makes sense during a marriage, it can make things more difficult and stressful during a divorce. The key to success in your finances and your divorce, in general, is thorough preparation. If you are thinking about divorce or you are in the beginning stages of the process, here are a few things you can do to help prepare your finances and set yourself up for success after your divorce is finalized.

Open Up a Bank Account in Your Name Only

One of the first things you should do when you know that the divorce is definitely happening is to begin to separate your finances. The easiest way to start doing this is to open up a new bank account with only your name on it. You can begin to deposit your own income, like your paycheck from work, for example, into your bank account, rather than into a joint account held with your spouse. You will also likely be entitled to a significant portion of the funds in any joint bank accounts, and these can be transferred into your new account once your divorce resolution is finalized.

Pull Your Credit Report

You should also be cognizant of what your current financial situation looks like. You can do this by pulling a copy of your credit report online. By law, you are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus. Your credit report will list any and all debts that you may owe both solely and jointly. These could include auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, and other loan accounts. Your credit report can help you understand what you will owe each month and can help you figure out what you need to separate.

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Sugar grove divorce lawyerIf you are looking to get a divorce, you have likely encountered a long list of things that must be done before the divorce can be completed. One of the many steps that must be taken during a divorce is dividing marital property. This is one of the areas of divorce that is notorious for producing arguments and disagreements, even if you and your spouse are otherwise on the same page. The decisions made during this process are decisions about nearly every single piece of property that you own. If you make decisions that are not in your best interest, it can affect you for the rest of your life.

Marital Versus Nonmarital Property

The first step in the asset division process is determining what is and is not subject to division. Illinois law states that all marital property is subject to division, except for a few circumstances. Marital property is considered to be any asset or debt that you or your spouse acquired during the marriage. Certain assets that were acquired during the marriage, however, are exempt from division. These items include property acquired from a gift or through inheritance, property acquired in exchange for such property, property excluded from division as per a valid prenuptial agreement, and any property acquired after a judgment of legal separation.

Understanding Equitable Division

Once you have determined the property that is actually subject to division, you will then have to determine who gets which assets and debts. The court encourages couples to come to their own property division agreement, but unfortunately, that is not always feasible. 

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