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Handling the finances of an Illinois divorce

It's been suggested that approximately three out of every 1,000 marriages came to an end in 2014. Some couples filed for divorce; others received annulments. Regardless of the type of dissolution an Illinois couple files for, one commonality among them is that breaking up a marriage can be financially devastating to those involved.

In some circles, January is dubbed "divorce month" because of the apparent increase in filings during each new year. Some say that it is not uncommon for a person considering divorce to wait until January so as not to disrupt the family's holiday season. However, once the New Year has been rung in, many decide that starting fresh will include filing for divorce.

Consulting with an accountant or financial adviser is advisable, as well as an experienced family law attorney, before proceeding to court. When it comes to topics such as an IRA account, paying off debt or retirement plans, it is best to make certain that one has a clear understanding of all potential ramifications that may result as a consequence of sudden changes made without guidance. What seems like a good idea may instead have a negative impact where it was not expected.

An Illinois resident planning to divorce should first make a thorough list of  assets. Closing joint accounts and opening individual ones is also advisable in order to prevent potential financial manipulation from a soon-to-be former spouse. These are just a few of the financial challenges typically associated with divorce. Seeking guidance from an experienced family law attorney would most likely help a person obtain an agreeable settlement that protects one's best interests and provides a foundation toward a sustainable future.

Source: CNBC, "Breaking up is hard to do: Protecting assets in divorce", Kelli B. Grant, Jan. 17, 2016

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