Preparing for a separation means addressing many important elements of the relationship — not only emotionally but financially as well. Divorce, as Illinois residents can attest, can be very costly when asset division is taken into consideration. Therefore, it can be very helpful for individuals to seek out support in preparing their own financial situation for this change of life.

Making a plan ahead of time is crucial in this process. Gathering individual financial histories, including credit cards and tax bills, can help individuals determine what financial steps will need to be taken to account for new and existing bills. When living costs rise relative to a single income versus a two-income home, it is important to be prepared.

Once the divorce is underway, ensure the settlement addresses how both parties will deal with the future needs of their children — for example, who will be responsible for education savings plans? The same goes for retirement and any retirement benefits that might apply. Rules about these issues vary from state to state, so it’s important that individuals living in Illinois get the right information about how these issues are dealt with here.

Divorce can take a heavy emotional toll on all those involved, but the financial toll can linger after the heart has healed. Being prepared for the financial realities of divorce and working to develop plans to mitigate those realities can go a long way toward smoothing the road to separation for Illinois residents preparing to traverse that path. Advance planning can save a lot of stress and money further down the road.

Source: CNN, “Don’t let divorce wreck your finances“, Karen Cheney, April 4, 2014