1. Plan in advance. Gather your financial information before you file for divorce, so your case doesn’t drag on for months while you try to put together documents and fill out forms.
2. Get your finances in order before you file. Going into a divorce when you have nothing but debt to divide makes the whole process tremendously more difficult.
3. Try to figure out a way that both you and your spouse can survive financially after the divorce. You may think you don’t care whether your spouse survives or not, but the judge is going to want to know that both of you will be able to support yourselves and that your marital property is being divided fairly before s/he enters a divorce judgment.
4. Talk to your spouse. Negotiate. Be civilized, no matter how angry or frustrated you feel. The more you fight, the more it costs. So try to work out as much as you can, even if you’d rather never look at your spouse again.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. So what if your spouse is getting more than you think he or she deserves? If fighting over giving your spouse an extra $5,000 costs you $10,000 in attorneys’ fees, what have you gained? Focus on what’s really important and let the other stuff go.
About the author of this Illinois Divorce FAQ:
Karen A. Covy, J.D. is a divorce attorney and family law mediator in Chicago Illinois . She is the author of When Happily Ever After Ends, How to Survive Your Divorce Emotionally, Financially and Legally.