Knowing your property interests can secure your future finances

Successfully navigating a divorce is about much more than signing the final papers. A more appropriate goal than simply getting through the process is to come out the other side of divorce with a strong sense of financial wellness. But since divorce can be an emotionally significant experience for people in Illinois, focusing on one’s financial security and personal property interests can feel difficult. Here is how one can easily make finances a priority during divorce.

Financial wellness involves knowing how much one has in assets. When it comes to divorce, this means identifying marital as well as separate property. Each party keeps their own personal property in divorce but must divide the marital assets. Identifying those marital assets requires more than just jotting down a quick list of obvious assets like the marital home or vehicles. Instead, it is better to collect important paperwork for things like tax returns, financial statements, insurance documents, bank accounts and more.

There is one major area that people tend to overlook when identifying their assets — debt. It is possible for one spouse to rack up debt that the other did not know about until the divorce. Depending on the situation, that debt might be either separate or marital. However, any asset — including debt — that is acquired during a marriage is usually considered marital.

With these assets in mind, one must weigh his or her financial future. For example, is he or she going from a two-income household to just one? How will housing costs change? What lifestyle changes might be necessary? It is important to be realistic when answering these questions.

While it may be true that there are certain financial implications associated with divorce, the outcome does not have to be as dramatic as some make it out to be. Illinois divorcees who are proactive with their finances may find that the impact is very manageable. However, this requires careful attention to marital assets, personal property interests and one’s future expenses.

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