February 13, 2022
Realizing that your spouse wants a divorce can come as a shock. It is particularly difficult when, rather than hearing it directly from them, you find out when you are served with divorce papers. While you are likely to feel anger, panic, and a rush of other negative emotions, it is important to try to remain calm. These are some important steps you need to take to protect yourself. Our Illinois divorce attorneys at The Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group guide you through what to do:
The very first step to take if you have been served with divorce papers is to reach out and request a consultation with our Illinois divorce attorneys. Do this immediately. Divorce papers are time-sensitive and failing to respond could negatively impact your rights.
Under the Illinois Statutes, you are entitled to a fair share of all property and assets accumulated over the course of your marriage. Make a list of all real estate, vehicles, furniture, artwork and antiques, personal belongings, and other items. Include financial assets as well, such as money in bank accounts, investments, shares in business, and retirement benefits.
Gather your marriage license, birth certificates for all family members, and copies of Social Security cards and photo identification. Make a file containing past tax returns, recent statements for bank accounts, loans, and credits, along with titles to property.
Open up your own bank account and begin making regular deposits. Consider taking out a credit card or small loan, as a way to establish your individual credit. This can help in rebuilding your life post-divorce.
Give thought to what you might want in a divorce settlement and what you might be willing to negotiate on. For example, do you want (and can you afford) to remain in your current home or would you be better off selling it and splitting the proceeds? If you have children from the marriage, consider what type of child parenting time arrangements you might want put in place, as well as your rights regarding spousal and child support.
Getting served with divorce papers can come as quite a shock, but The Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group is here to help. Our Illinois divorce attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and can guide you in the steps you need to take. To request an immediate consultation, call or contact our office online today.