Divorcing a spouse who has little other than “winning” the settlement on their mind can be overwhelming for some people in Illinois. However, it is important to note that the value of assets is not necessarily the most important consideration. When it comes to the division of property during a divorce, looking ahead can be invaluable.

Engaging in what is known as a redline position, which simply means that an individual has a firm grasp of what they want their settlement to look like and are unwilling to compromise, can be detrimental to both parties involved. A more productive approach can include reviewing both short and long-term needs, and seeing how certain assets and their respective expenses fit in. However, some may have a more difficult time parting with large or expensive assets, even if they do not fit into that plan.

For example, the marital home can be a point of contention for some. One spouse may insist on keeping the home, particularly if there are any children involved, as doing so can provide them a sense of stability. While this may seem an ideal choice, keeping a home that was previously run on two incomes can be an enormous undertaking. A mortgage or even real estate tax can quickly consume a halved income.

Remaining steadfast on the division of property may not do much to help an Illinois divorce to proceed in a healthy manner. If two parties are unable to come to a comprehensive agreement concerning their settlement, often the next step may be to employ the use of a mediator, who can provide impartial suggestions based upon the assets at hand and the financial situations of both parties. If both of these steps are unsuccessful, the parties may find themselves before a judge, who will have the final say with respect to unresolved issues concerning the settlement.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Divorce isn’t just about the money grab“, Larry Stein, July 28, 2014