As with many things in life, it is best to be as prepared as possible before embarking on a marital separation. Illinois residents can attest that divorce can be a trying experience both emotionally and fiscally, and the more one can come to the negotiation table with some pre-planning under one’s belt, the more likely it is that the process will proceed smoothly. While no one can pretend to have all their bases covered during such an emotional time, there are several ways that both individuals can prepare themselves for the proceedings.

Developing a comprehensive picture of individual and joint finances is often a good place to begin, as courts will make a distinction between individual and marital property and assets when discussing division. Generally speaking, assets and property accrued before the marriage are considered owned by the individual who earned or purchased them. Assets collected during the marriage, including shared homes and vehicles, are considered marital in nature and must be split up equally.

In some cases, this means that individuals may choose to sell large ticket items in order to better divide their value. If this is the route chosen, it is important to consider the tax implications of those sales, and where those responsibilities will fall. Determining who is responsible for what can cut down on arguments and other time-wasters once the process is underway.

The divorce process is meant to enable both individuals to move on in their lives happier than they were before. To that end, Illinois residents considering divorce may wish to take advantage of support and services designed to help them through this difficult period. In so doing, they can expedite their moves into their independent new lives.

Source:, “How To Manage Your Finances Through A Divorce“, Leslie Kramer, May 16, 2014