Most people seeking divorce don’t plan ahead or consider the financial impact, despite the fact that making a financial mistake in divorce can cost you tens – or even hundreds – of thousands of dollars. With the stakes so high, it makes sense to get financial guidance from an attorney experienced with the common tax, benefits and retirement issues that arise in divorce. In addition, since divorce is an emotional event often filled with anger and mistrust, your attorney can help make sure your spouse does not attempt to hide money or assets in order to come out ahead in a settlement.
The skilled and compassionate Illinois divorce attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand what you are going through and can guide you through the process of planning and seeking the best financial arrangement possible in your divorce. We represent and advise clients in all divorce and family law issues.
For a free initial consultation with an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer, contact us online or call 630-305-0222.
Divorce is not cheap. It comes with expenses related to the divorce process itself and expenses you will have to take on once you are single. Major considerations include: Insurance. If you previously had medical and dental insurance through your spouse, you will have to determine how you will pay for this on your own. If you have children, will your ex continue to cover them, and is it possible to continue the policies? Can you afford to get life, long term care, or property insurance on your own? Find out what your options are to ensure that you and your family continue to be protected.
Your tax situation will change once you are single. If you are receiving or paying alimony and/or child support, this will affect your taxes, as does who gets to claim the children as a tax deduction. There may be a way to work out your tax situation to benefit you, but in any case you should always consider tax implications when making decisions.
Are you aware that if you have been married ten years, you may be entitled to collect on your spouse’s work record, if this is greater than your own? If you are close to that ten years mark, timing your divorce accordingly can make a big difference in how much you receive. If you and/or your spouse have retirement plans, what will happen to them? You should know the difference between traditional and ROTH IRAs, 401(k) accounts, and how these will be divided, and what you will do about your own retirement needs if your spouse winds up with these benefits. In addition, when splitting up retirement accounts, you could end up with less than you anticipated due to taxes and penalties.
You may love your home and want to stay in it, but will you be able to afford it? You need to know:
Do you or your spouse owe money for things like credit card bills, medical expenses, auto loans, payday loans, or student loans? Who is responsible for these debts? Is there a chance that you or your spouse may wind up filing for bankruptcy, and how can you protect yourself in that case?
You will probably have to take your name off joint credit cards and file for cards in your own name to establish credit.
Do you or your spouse own a business, or are you in business together? If you own a business together, you will need to have the business valued and decide on what course of action to take. Decide whether:
Costs of your divorce depend on factors such as how cooperative you are with your soon-to-be ex, and how much is involved in terms of property and maintenance and custody issues. Do you think you can mediate a peaceful, equitable settlement, or will your divorce be a hostile drawn-out process that winds up in a nasty trial? Do you think your spouse is capable of committing fraud, hiding and depleting assets and misrepresenting income? You may need to call in a forensic accountant to look for things like shell corporations, unfunded trusts, life insurance vehicles, unknown safe deposit boxes, and hidden brokerage/online accounts.
Planning for the financial aspects of a divorce involves both budgeting for the expenses associated with the split and preparing for managing your finances after the divorce is final. It makes sense to get legal and financial guidance to help you through this difficult time.
At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., we made our reputation one client at a time, and we put every ounce of our ability into every case. There are no ready-made solutions in divorce and family law – every case needs to be considered on its own merit. Our lawyers take the time to delve deeply into the problem and to understand your goals and concerns. We will be happy to explain how marital assets, debts and other issues affect your divorce case and develop a legal strategy designed to achieve your objectives and keep you financially solvent.
There is no charge for the first consultation. Delaying can only complicate your situation and make matters worse. Call us today for your free consultation at 630-305-0222 or contact our team online.