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Divorce! What you need to know before you file.

Divorce is not an easy decision. Here are six considerations to think about before you file.

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 Your personal property is going to have to be divided in a divorce. This is true even if you always kept things separate and nothing is held jointly. The bad news is that that savings account that you have been accumlating during your marriage is half his or hers under the law as is your retirement account. 

2. If you own real estate that was purchased during the marriage, you will need to figure out if one of you is going to keep that house or condo and if so how you are going to buy him or her out. Most often people opt for a refinance but if refinancing right away is not an option, they agree on refinancing by a future date. 

3. What about maintenance? If one of you earns substantially more than the other person, you may well be looking at paying maintenance or spoousal support for a period of time which is determined by a formula. In Illinois that is 33% of the higher wage earner’s net income less 25% of the lower wage earner’s net income.  How long you will have to pay depends on how long you were married.

4. What about child support? That will be deterimined by comparing both of your incomes in a table.

5. Debt? It has to be divided. Any debt you accumlated during the marriage is marital debt no matter whose name it is in unless you used it for something totally outside the marriage such as for a student loan or a vacation without your spouse or family.

6. Custody! You need to think about whether the two of you can make decisions together about your children on the important stuff, their health care, religion, education and extra-curricular activities. You may feel extreme hostility towards your soon to be ex now but that may lessen with time. You also need to figure out a parenting schedule keeping in mind where the two of you will be living and what your kids’ school and extra-curricular activites look like.

Lots to consider! At my Gabrielle Davis PC, we make a point of carefully analyzing your financial sitution before you file. 

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