It’s a new year, and for many spouses that means it’s time to move on. Statistics show that divorce filings increase after the holidays, and many dissatisfied spouses make it their New Year’s resolution to get a fresh start.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Illinois, it is important to make sure you have a clear understanding of how to prepare and what to expect along the way. With this in mind, here is our guide making informed decisions about your divorce in 2023:

Preparing for Your Divorce

When contemplating a divorce, it is important to view your divorce as a process with three distinct phases: (i) preparation, (ii) filing, and (iii) resolution. While many spouses assume that the first step is to submit their divorce petition to the appropriate Illinois state court, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, in the vast majority of cases, spouses will want to take several preparatory steps before they file.

One of the first (and most important) steps when preparing for a divorce is to make sure you are aware of all of the various issues involved. You will want to begin considering these issues early, as you will need time to formulate your priorities and make informed decisions with your long-term best interests in mind. To learn about the issues you should be considering, you can read: 20 Issues You Need to Consider When Preparing for a Divorce in Illinois.

Avoiding Early Mistakes

As you prepare for your divorce, in addition to focusing on what to do, it is also important to understand what not to do as you move forward. Mistakes during the divorce process can lead to unnecessary delays and confrontations; and, in some situations, they can be irreversible.

When going through a divorce in Illinois, the key to avoiding mistakes is simply to ensure that you are making informed decisions. To find out what you need to know in order to avoid several all-too-common mistakes, you can read: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing for a Divorce in Illinois.

Comparing Your Divorce Options

Many spouses do not realize that they have options when it comes to filing for divorce. But, there are different ways you can approach your divorce, and the option you choose can have a significant impact on both the process and the outcome.

For example, one of the earliest decisions you will need to make is whether you want to pursue an “uncontested” divorce. Pursuing an uncontested divorce streamlines the process and reduces the costs involved in most cases. However, while an uncontested divorce is the best option for many couples, it isn’t the best option in all circumstances. To decide whether an uncontested divorce might be right for you, you can read: Should You Pursue an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois? 10 Key Questions to Consider.

Anticipating Potential Issues During Your Divorce

When preparing for a divorce, it is important to keep a positive mindset. While getting divorced can seem daunting, there is a process to be followed, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

But, it is also important to acknowledge that problems can (and occasionally do) arise. By acknowledging these potential problems up front—and by taking proactive steps to avoid them—you can significantly increase your chance of getting through your divorce without any major issues. To learn about some potential issues (and the steps you can take to avoid or overcome them), you can read: What Are the Most Common Problems During the Divorce Process in Illinois?

Anticipating Potential Issues After Your Divorce

Along with the issues that can arise during a divorce, there are also issues that can arise after the divorce process. As important as it is to mitigate the risk of unanticipated issues creating problems during your divorce, it is even more important to do everything you can to avoid post-divorce complications.

If you encounter issues after your divorce, addressing them can be more complicated, confrontational, and costly than preventing them in the first place. Fortunately, most post-divorce issues can be prevented with the right approach. To learn more about avoiding post-divorce complications, you can read: 7 Common Issues After a Divorce (and How to Avoid Them in Illinois).

Addressing Property-Related and Financial Considerations

Regardless of how much you earn or how much property you own, property-related and financial considerations will play a central role in your divorce. You and your spouse will need to divide your marital assets equitably; and, depending on your financial circumstances, you may need to address alimony as well.

In Illinois, not all assets are subject to division in a divorce, and alimony isn’t warranted in all cases. To learn how Illinois’s laws regarding property division and alimony are likely to apply to your divorce, you can read:

Addressing Child-Related Considerations

If you have children, child-related considerations will play a central role in your divorce as well. In Illinois, couples who have minor children must address both child custody and child support during the divorce process.

While the Illinois Child Support Guidelines govern how much each parent has to pay, couples in Illinois have a variety of options when it comes to child custody. To learn about some of the options you have available, you can read:

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Illinois Divorce Attorney Deanna J. Bowen

If you are thinking about filing for divorce in 2023, we encourage you to contact us for more information. We will arrange a time for you to sit down and discuss your divorce with divorce attorney Deanna J. Bowen one-on-one. To arrange a free and confidential consultation, please call 847-623-4002 or contact us online today.