Avoiding the Financial Pitfalls of Divorce

According to a recent ABC-13 News story, the financial fallout that people tend to experience after a divorce can be absolutely devastating, particularly for women, who often have lower-paying jobs, fewer resources, and diminished earning capacities due to part-time or no work for a number of years. By following a few simple tips, however, both women and men can take steps before divorce becomes a reality in order to protect themselves from financial disaster.

First, both spouses should have access to financial information, such as bank account numbers and debt statements, before divorce is ever filed. Obtaining this information following a divorce can be difficult, if not impossible, and discovery of this information often makes for some nasty surprises when you find out that your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has been less than truthful with you about the family finances.

Next, you should be realistic about your financial situation when you do decide to divorce. The reality is that once you divorce, you most likely will be unable to maintain the same standard of living that you enjoyed prior to your divorce. Therefore, if you are facing a divorce, you will have to make a budget and alter your lifestyle to fall within the constraints of that budget. Whether this means downsizing your home, moving from part-time to full-time work, or cutting unnecessary expenses, you should take clear and definite steps to avoid emotional overspending during a stressful time in your life and focus on living within your means.

Finally, you should be sure to establish credit in your own name and maintain it while you still are married. You do not want to be left in a position in which you are unable to qualify for a credit card or a loan following a divorce simply because you have no credit history.

While it may seem pessimistic to think about these practical matters during the course of a happy marriage, statistics show that half of all marriages end in divorce at one point or another. Therefore, keep these tips in mind to protect yourself, just in case the unthinkable occurs, and your marriage fails.

For more information about how to protect yourself in the event of a divorce, call our office to speak with an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer about your situation.

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