Woodridge Pre-divorce Planning Lawyer

Illinois Divorce Attorney

Living every day in a bad marriage is taxing, emotional, and sometimes even damaging to your physical and mental health. But taking that first step toward separation can also feel daunting.

There are steps you can take now to make the process easier and start preparing yourself for what’s to come. Pre-divorce planning can help you and your spouse come to terms with the reality of divorce and ensure you make the best decisions moving forward. Divorce often means you have to disassemble and rebuild your life, so these are no small considerations.

Working with a skilled pre-divorce planning attorney is a wise first step when you know a divorce is inevitable. The team at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. supports each of our clients through this distressing time. We understand the nuances of each relationship and how to help you meet your goals when all is said and done.

What Is Pre-Divorce Planning?

Pre-divorce planning involves several components of your life, including dealing with paperwork and finances, getting organized, and preparing yourself emotionally. It’s an important phase of the divorce process, even though you haven’t filed anything yet and nothing is official.

Divorce is usually a complex process. A separation of any kind is already emotionally fraught, but adding in that legal component means you have to deal with things you probably don’t want to think about, like your finances or sharing custody of your children.

Our attorneys help you understand what the process will look like. We also make sure you understand how changes to Illinois law, like the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, impact your case.

Prioritizing planning in advance allows you to get your documents in order and figure out what your goals are. It also helps you prepare yourself mentally for what’s ahead.

Get in touch with us to schedule a free consultation today: 630-305-0222.

Why Choose Us

Our award-winning attorneys . . .

  • Were named Best Family Lawyers in Chicago by Expertise.com in 2020 and 2021
  • Are Super Lawyers
  • Have extensive backgrounds in family law
  • Are part of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and the Cook and DuPage County Bar Associations
  • Have proven track records helping divorce clients obtain what they deserve
  • Serve Woodridge, Bolingbrook, Naperville, Chicago, and throughout Illinois
  • Are seasoned family law trial lawyers
  • Are very familiar with all the local courts and judges
  • Prioritize client communication and relationship building.

At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., our decades of experience and supportive approach mean we’re the firm of choice for clients facing a divorce. Our attorneys are committed to listening to your biggest concerns and helping you meet your goals.

We walk you through the pre-divorce planning process, so you’re set up for success, both financially and mentally.

Tips on Pre-divorce Planning

Being proactive is the best thing you can do before a divorce. Here are a few steps you may consider in your Illinois divorce planning process:

Organize Your Documents

Any major purchases you and your spouse have made together will likely be part of the divorce process. Locate documents related to real estate, insurance, investments, debts, and tax returns. Organize everything, make copies, and store documents in a secure location. This step also helps you make a list of everything you and your spouse share.

Open or Close Financial Accounts

It may be wise to open a new bank account or credit card that’s only in your name. Remember that you can’t withdraw everything you and your spouse share, and you should withdraw only half of the funds in your joint accounts.

Protect Your Data

You may want to open a P.O. box or use another address where your spouse won’t have access to your confidential mail. Your attorney, for example, can send you information using this other address. The same may apply if you share an email address with your spouse.

Change any passwords your spouse knows and close or change your social media accounts. Information on social media may play an unnecessary role in the divorce, and posts and comments can create tension or even impact your reputation negatively.

Check Your Credit Report

Unfortunately, sometimes a spouse may try to get loans or run up debt in the name of their partner before a divorce. Run a credit report to ensure you’re still in good standing. Pay attention to any odd credit-related activity that shows up on the report.

Document Everything

Documentation is key for divorce cases, especially when child custody battles are involved. In Illinois, courts take into account what’s best for the child moving forward, so you have an opportunity to document everything your spouse does to bolster your side of the case.

Try to get everything in writing and keep applicable documents safe and organized.

Find Areas You Agree On

One thing to start now is to list out the terms you and your spouse can agree on before filing for divorce. The legal process can be long and drawn out when the parties don’t agree.

Here are a few examples of questions to start considering now:

  • Which spouse will stay in the home you own together? Or will you sell it?
  • Who will claim your children on their tax return?
  • Who will have custody of your children, or will you have equal physical custody?
  • What will you do with your small business? Will one spouse take it over?
  • Will your separate retirement accounts be factored into financial negotiations?
  • Who will be responsible for alimony or child support payments?
  • Who will get which vehicles or other shared property?
  • Will one spouse be responsible for health insurance for the family? And for how long?

Be proactive and try to come to an agreement about certain things you know you agree on. This helps tremendously when you’re trying to shorten or mitigate the process.

How We Can Help

Our attorneys understand how distressing it is to face an impending divorce. Not only are you dealing with challenging emotions, but you also have to consider the legal process. Our team of thoughtful professionals is here to guide you. We get to know your situation so we can deliver services customized to you and your goals.

Don’t be intimidated and stressed by this process. Our Woodridge pre-divorce planning lawyer is ready to help you prepare and fight for your best interests.

Reach out to our Illinois family law attorneys now for a free consultation at 630-305-0222.

Attorney Natalie Stec

Natalie M. Stec, born and raised in Illinois, and earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her practice has been concentrated in significant pre and post decree marital and family law cases; including custody, visitation, support, and paternity matters. She has important criminal defense experience in both misdemeanor and felony cases. She is a very dedicated and passionate litigator. [ Attorney Bio ]