Property Division Can Impact Personal Finances Following Divorce

When people are getting ready to divorce in Illinois, they may become frightened about what their financial futures will look like. Redefining oneself financially following the end of a marriage can be intimidating, especially for a person who is not used to managing the household finances. A few tips can help to approachproperty division issues in a way that will help them going forward.

First, it’s typically important to cancel any joint accounts. This includes, where possible, removing one’s name from joint utilities and credit cards. If this doesn’t happen, one person could be responsible for making good on the joint debt if the other party defaults. In this case, demanding duplicate statements and closely monitoring joint accounts can help a person to protect his or her credit score.

In addition, retirement assets can be divided using a document called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO. If two people have 401ks, they will have to cooperate with their plan administrators to get their rightful share of the retirement money. In addition, each may wish to remove their soon-to-be-ex as beneficiary on their retirement accounts. As part of the Illinois divorce process, it’s typically wise to develop a retirement and financial plan based on projected income post-divorce.

If a couple can engage in mediation or negotiation during the divorce, this may provide more control over how property division is handled. This, in turn, may strengthen the financial position of the parties directly after the divorce and into the future. It is within the rights of both parties to seek their best interests at each step of the proceedings.

Source: Forbes, “Finances For The Newly Divorced Made Easy“, Neal Frankle, Sept. 15, 2014