A divorce can affect nearly every aspect of your life for years to come. Therefore, it makes sense to do your research and to plan before you file for a divorce. The first step in planning for a divorce is speaking with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer who can guide you through the process.

Understanding the Process

The divorce process can be complicated. A divorce case starts before one side officially files the paperwork. Depending on the circumstances, negotiations may be made before the case is filed. Some couples may even choose to come to an agreement on the major issues before the first court date is held.

However, other cases are more contentious—some divorces spend a year or more in the courts before a final divorce decree is issued. If you have children, and various issues need resolved, you may need to go through mediation. Also, there may be early court hearings to decide who gets to temporary possession of the family home.

Gathering Documents

Your lawyer will need to understand the state of the family finances. Hence, you will need to gather copies of statements for all of your bank accounts, credit cards, and retirement accounts. If you own real property, you may also need to gather any documents related to the property.

In certain cases it will be additionally helpful to gather information about the children involved, such as school and health records.

Finally, as part of the divorce, you and your spouse will need to disclose all sources of income and marital assets. The more information that you gather before your file for divorce, the better the advice will be that your lawyer can give to you.

Planning the Divorce Strategy

Every divorce is different. If you have a business or significant assets, you may worry about protecting those assets. However, when you take the time to plan with your lawyer prior to filing for divorce, you will then have a better chance to legally protect your assets.

In some cases, the best strategy is to try and use informal negotiations or mediation to reach an agreement before the case is made a matter of public record. In other instances, you may know your case is going to be contentious. Advanced planning allows you and your lawyer the chance to go on the attack from the start and to protect your rights. You will need to decide if you will want to ask for spousal maintenance or child support or you may need to prepare for your spouse seeking these payments from you.

Speaking With a Skilled Divorce Attorney

If you have any questions about planning for a divorce or protecting your assets, then please contact an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer who can assist you right away. Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. today at 630-665-7676 to schedule your consultation.