Pre-Divorce Financial Steps

If you are planning a divorce and you’re concerned that it could become hostile, you need to keep a careful eye on your financial situation in the months leading up to and during the legal proceedings. One of your first steps should be to set up accounts in your own name, and then you should investigate hiring a lawyer to learn more about what to expect.

Start by establishing financial accounts in your own name. Do not count on a joint account to cover you, or any joint bills, during this time. Your spouse may make an attempt to drain the account, and it’s very dangerous for you both to be writing checks out of an account if you are not speaking to each other or living together. This can lead to bounced checks and angry billing companies. Eventually, it’s recommended that you close these joint accounts and joint credit cards. If you can’t close a credit account because of a current balance, write and keep copies of a letter that states your unwillingness to be connected with any further debt beyond the balance at that time.

If you have valuable personal property, now is the time to safeguard it. If you are not sure about how your spouse will react to news of the divorce, you could lose your property or have it destroyed in the heat of anger. You can protect important items in a safe deposit box or by contacting a friend or family member who is willing to store these items in the short term. If your property does become damaged, you may have grounds for a destruction of property claim.

Making the final decision to obtain a divorce is a difficult one, and it’s not a decision that should be made without thoughtful financial planning in advance. To learn more about what to expect and what steps you should take, contact your Illinois divorce lawyer today.

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