The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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DuPage County legal separation lawyerMaking the decision to get a divorce is often one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. For many people, it can take months or even years to come to the conclusion that a divorce is the best option. During this time, many couples turn to legal separation to begin the process of ending their marriage before they become legally divorced. During the separation, financial issues can be confusing and daunting to manage. Planning ahead regarding your finances is essential to ensuring a smooth divorce process. If you are contemplating divorce and think a legal separation is the best first step, here are a few tips to help you manage your finances during this period of transition:

Create a New Budget For Yourself

One of the first things you should do when you become separated from your spouse is to figure out a new budget. Once you are divorced from your spouse, you will likely only be living off of one, rather than two, incomes. You should reconfigure a budget that allows you to live comfortably based on your new expenses and your own income.

Begin Separating Your Accounts

If you are married, chances are you and your spouse had at least one joint financial account. Many couples share checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, and even retirement accounts. While you are separated, you should begin the process of separating your accounts. Open your own personal checking and savings accounts and close any credit card accounts that do not currently carry a balance.

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DuPage County division of assets lawyerMany people who get a divorce state that finances were the reason or at least played some part in the breakdown of the marriage. For those couples--and many other couples--the stress of money does not stop there. Many divorces are also quite contentious and filled with anxiety over the couple’s financial issues. Most couples have their assets intermingled in some way, and when they get divorced, they have to figure out how to separate them. Below are a few common financial issues that divorcing couples face and how best to deal with them.

Assessing Your Assets

Not all assets were created equally. Before you begin to do anything involving your finances, you need to understand them. Make a list of every asset you have. These can include:

  • Cash

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Will separate bank accounts create a happier marriage and prevent divorce, divorce, divorce finances, martial assets, bank accountsOne of the most common reasons for divorce, along with cheating, is financial issues. Studies show that couples who argue about money are more likely to split.

Although the number of married couples opening separate bank accounts is increasing (a TD Bank survey shows that 42 percent of couples have both individual and joint bank accounts), it remains taboo for spouses to maintain individual bank accounts.

However, there are several reasons that married couples should go against the grain and opt for separate bank accounts:

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economy, Aurora divorce attorneysWhile a marriage or divorce is often the result of a combination of emotional factors, it impossible to deny that finances play a major role in both. In marriage, tax benefits are generally available for both spouse, and the idea of combining two incomes is often a motivating factor—especially for younger couples looking to make ends meet.

Similarly, divorce also effects requires a number of financial changes and places economic demands on recent ex-spouses who must adapt to living on their own. It is little wonder that health of the national economy can be an influential force when it comes to keeping a marriage together or tearing it apart.

Money Matters

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finances, Aurora family law attorneyIn the United States, an estimated 40 to 50 percent of all first marriages end in divorce. That number jumps to 60 percent for second and subsequent marriages. In survey after survey, one of the top issues that cause major rifts between married couples is finances. Different spending habits, different saving habits, and other differing perspectives on how money should be handled can do a lot of damage in a marriage. For example, one survey revealed that 47 percent of the couples surveyed had completely opposite spending and saving habits, which led to much stress in the marriage.

These statistics make a good argument as to why it is critical for engaged couples to have serious discussions regarding finances before they get married. Knowing how your future spouse handles money can help avoid big surprises after the vows are exchanged.

Future Career Goals

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divorce rate, rate of divorce, DuPage County family lawyerWhile marriage and divorce are very personal decisions, social trends regarding the two are often tied to a large number of other factors. While an individual couple may be taking into account their own circumstances, the economic strength of the country as a whole may play a fairly significant role as well. In fact, according to recent studies, since the 2008 recession in the United States, the overall divorce rate has dropped by about 3 percent.

Marriage Rates Slightly Up Too

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the divorce rate fell again slightly in 2014 from 3.3 divorces per 1,000 total population in 2013 to 3.2 per 1,000. While the divorce rate spiked slightly between 2009 and 2011, it has since been steadily falling from its 2008 rate of 3.5 per 1,000 people.

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finances, divorce, Illinois divorce attorney Divorce involves more than the dissolution of a marriage. It is a complex legal process, and many couples will experience financial hurdles on their way out of the relationship.

Deciding to divorce is a serious consideration, and protecting your financial interests requires careful planning. One of your first steps should be calling a divorce attorney for advice. Your lawyer will likely look to find out:

  •         Whether or not there was a prenuptial agreement;
  •         If you and your spouse have children; and
  •         The income, assets, and deb of you and your spouse make.

Under Illinois law, these factors—and many others—may affect your strategy for securing your financial future. Because this is such an intricate process, hiring a divorce attorney may ultimately save you money over the long term.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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