Butler Giraudo & Meister
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Information gathering needed to start divorce process off strong

Dissolving an Illinois marriage can be emotionally and financially devastating. It can be difficult to know where to start when getting ready to proceed through the divorce process. A few tips may help people to start off strong when embarking on this type of family law proceeding.

First, it is essential to gather relevant personal information. This includes both spouses' names, Social Security Numbers and dates of birth. Other important pieces of information to collect are details about both parties' prior marriages and their children, their current occupations and employers, any academic degrees and the reason for the divorce.

Second, it is paramount to assess the couple's financial situation. This includes the incomes of both spouses as well as both parties' expenses. It's also important to inventory the assets of both parties. The assets need to be listed as well as valued and classified as either joint or separate, and the tax bases of all of the assets need to be determined. Furthermore, the tax consequences of all assets that are slated to be sold or transferred must be calculated.

Finally, it is crucial to gather documentation about liabilities as well as the employee benefits of the parties. Credit reports and the insurance policies that each spouse owns for disability, life and health insurance are also wise to obtain. Dissolving a marriage is a multifaceted process that can understandably be overwhelming. However, the more information a person has at the start of his or her Illinois divorce proceeding, the more effectively a divorce settlement can be negotiated that ultimately reflects one's best interests.

Source: thebradentontimes.com, "Guido's Weekend Financial Wisdom: The Checklist for a Divorce", Evan R. Guido, Nov. 5, 2016

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