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November 26, 2019

First Steps in Contemplating A Marital Separation 

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First Steps in Contemplating A Marital Separation 

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When problems at home make life miserable, a marital separation can be a welcome respite. It can also give you an important perspective on your relationship and can help you determine whether a divorce is something you want to pursue. However, it is important to give serious thought to the potential ramifications and how you can protect yourself during this time. The following highlights some of the first steps you will want to take. 

Information to Gather Before Separating From Your Spouse

A legal separation may be the best option when couples do not see eye to eye on certain issues or when incidents involving marital misconduct, such as an affair, have occurred. In some cases, the time apart can actually end up helping to strengthen your marriage. In others, it makes it clear that divorce is the best course of action. 

One of the first steps to take before approaching the topic with your partner, is to do an inventory of all marital property and assets you possess. Under the Illinois Statutes, if you do end up filing for divorce, dividing these will be a major part of the proceedings. In the event of a divorce, it is not uncommon for one spouse to hide assets from the other or to drain bank accounts. It is generally easier to gather important information while you are still together. Make sure to assemble the following: 

  • Statements for all financial accounts you own;
  • Statements regarding debts, including credit cards, loans, and mortgage payments;
  • Copies of titles to homes, cars, and other important belongings;
  • Past tax returns. 

Protecting Yourself During a Separation

If you suspect your spouse may deplete assets during your time apart, a legal separation may be the best course of action. This allows you to file documents with the court, including those detailing how property and financial matters will be handled on a temporary basis. Forbes advises that other important ways you can protect yourself include: 

  • Get an idea of what housing costs are in your area, in the event you have to move;
  • Do an inventory of your income and work skills, to determine how you will support yourself;
  • If you have children, give thought to any childcare arrangements which may be needed;
  • Avoid the temptation to begin dating, as it could impact your eventual divorce settlement. 

Get Our Chicago Divorce Attorneys on Your Side

Getting legal guidance from an experienced Chicago divorce attorney is a smart move prior to marital separation. At the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, we act as a strong legal ally on your side, protecting you in whatever decisions you make. Call or contact our office online today and request a confidential consultation about your case.  

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