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What to Do After You Are Served Divorce Papers

Hands signing divorce document representing Divorce Law Firm Chicago River North.

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: 

1. Contact our experienced Illinois divorce attorneys.

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. 

2. Do an inventory of all marital property and assets.

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. 

3. Gather important documents.

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.  

4. Open up your own accounts.

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. 

5. Consider what is important to you in a settlement.

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. 

Our Illinois Divorce Attorneys are Here to Help

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. 

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.

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Contact Information

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office
Fax:312-283-8636
Lake Forest Office
Fax:312-283-8636
Lisle Office
Fax:312-283-8636
Lake Forest Office

100 Saunders Rd.
Suite 150

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Lisle Office

3333 Warrenville Rd.
Suite 200

Lisle, IL 60532

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office

77 W. Wacker Drive
45th Floor

Chicago, IL 60601

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