Getting divorced is a formal legal process, and, as such, it requires several standard legal documents. There are documents that you will need to collect as you prepare for your divorce as well—and the more effort you put into preparing for your divorce, the smoother the process will typically go.
While every divorce involves unique family and financial circumstances, the documents needed to navigate the process successfully are mostly the same. With this in mind, this article provides an overview of the documents that you’ll need to collect and that you may need to prepare when going through a divorce in Illinois:
Documents You Will Need to Collect for Your Illinois Divorce
The divorce process in Illinois has four main components: property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody. Of course, if you don’t have children from your marriage, you will only need to deal with the first two components during your divorce. However, these are two of the components that require the most documentation.
When going through a divorce in Illinois, spouses are required to disclose their current assets and income sources. This is intended to prevent spouses from hiding assets or income to secure an unfair outcome. To make the required disclosures (using the divorce documents we discuss below), divorcing spouses will typically need the following financial records:
Divorcing spouses must disclose their income from all sources. Depending on whether a spouse works as an employee, independent contractor, or owns a business, this may require the use of paystubs, W-2s, 1099s, or company draws and dividends.
Divorcing spouses in Illinois will also benefit from collecting their state and federal tax returns from the past few years. These records, which must be signed under penalty of perjury, should confirm the spouses’ respective income sources while also providing insight into the couple’s expenses (for alimony and/or child support purposes).
Bank Account Statements
Bank account statements can provide additional insight into the couple’s income sources and expenses. They can also help identify the cost and date of acquisition of marital property (both of which can be extremely important when dividing the couple’s marital estate). Any funds held in the couple’s bank accounts will also be subject to division during the divorce process.
Retirement Account Statements
Depending on when each spouse acquired his or her retirement assets, these assets could also be on the table during the divorce process. If either spouse began accumulating retirement savings before the date of their marriage, the savings accumulated before the date of marriage might qualify as “separate” property, while any additional savings accumulated after the date of marriage may qualify as marital property that is subject to division.
Non-Retirement Investment Account Statements
Along with bank account and retirement account (i.e., IRA and 401(k)) statements, divorcing spouses should also collect copies of their statements for non-retirement investment accounts. These may include college savings plans, brokerage accounts, and cryptocurrency wallets.
Credit Card and Student Loan Statements
For couples with credit card or student loan debt, their credit card or student loan statements will also play an important role in divorce. Both assets and debts are subject to division during the divorce process, including debt from purchases and school.
Along with financial records, divorcing spouses in Illinois may also need to collect various property-related documents. While the specific forms spouses need to collect will depend on their assets and debts, some common examples include:
Real Estate Deeds and Mortgages
Divorcing spouses in Illinois will need a copy of the deed and mortgage for their primary residence (if they own their home) and the deed and mortgage for any vacation or rental properties. If you don’t have these and aren’t sure how to obtain them, a divorce lawyer can help.
Car Titles and Auto Loans
Divorcing spouses will also need copies of their car titles and auto loans as they navigate the divorce process. Like all other assets, vehicles can qualify as separate or marital property, and auto loans taken out during the marriage typically count as joint debts subject to division during the divorce process.
Documentation of Other Secured Debts
Boat loans, small business loans, and other types of secured debts may also need to be addressed during the divorce process. If you or your spouse has taken out any of these loans during your marriage, you will want to share copies of the loan documents with your divorce lawyer.
Under Illinois law, all marital assets are subject to division during the divorce process (subject to the terms of any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that may apply). To determine which assets are subject to division, you will want to take some time to create a comprehensive property inventory.
Divorce Documents Used in Illinois
So, those are some prominent examples of documents you may need to collect when preparing for your divorce. Now, what are the documents that you will need to train during the divorce process?
In Illinois, several forms of divorcing spouses may need to complete and filed with the court. While the specific forms you will need depend on the circumstances of your divorce, some of the main forms that are required for most divorces are:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Summons Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Financial Affidavit
- Statement of Assets and Liabilities
- Parenting Plan
If you and your spouse are pursuing an agreed divorce, you will end the process by submitting a Marital Settlement Agreement to the court for approval. Once the court approves, it will issue a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, and your marriage will be officially over.
Request a Free Initial Consultation with Gurnee, IL Divorce Lawyer Deanna J. Bowen
Do you have questions about what is involved in filing for divorce in Illinois? If so, we invite you to get in touch. To request a free initial consultation with Gurnee, IL, divorce lawyer Deanna J. Bowen, please call 847-623-4002 or contact us online today.