Grotta & Associates, P.C.
Our firm focuses on divorce and family law litigation, helping clients achieve their desired outcome.
CALL TODAY 708-789-9479

Grotta & Associates Family Law Blog

How to protect your separate property before an Illinois divorce

Deciding who gets what in your divorce, a process also known as asset division, is typically one of the most contentious aspects of ending a marriage. Both spouses tend to have their own ideas about what is fair and reasonable, and there is often very little overlap. Whether you find yourself squabbling over a particular asset or trying to minimize how much your spouse takes in the divorce, careful planning ahead of time can do a lot to protect your assets.

Ideally, the modern marriage should have financial transparency and an understanding between spouses regarding what is fair and reasonable in the event of a divorce. In order to protect themselves, more marriages these days involve prenuptial agreements than in the past. However, even if you married without a prenuptial agreement, it is still possible to protect your own finances in the event of a divorce.

How to prepare your finances for divorce

As you move closer to the divorce process, it's imperative to better understand your finances and what will change in the weeks and months to come. The more time you put into this up front, the better off you'll be in the future.

While no two people are facing the exact same circumstances, there are some things you can do to prepare your finances for divorce. Here are five tips to guide you:

  • Review your budget: You want to get a better feel for your income and expenses right now, as this will help you understand what's going to change after your marriage is in the past. You shouldn't expect your budget to remain the same, so now's the time to prepare for potential changes.
  • Make note of future expenses: Even if your income will remain the same after your divorce, there's a chance that your expenses will change. For example, you may need to purchase or rent a new home. Or maybe you'll find yourself paying child support and/or alimony. Preparing for new expenses up front can help you avoid trouble.
  • Gather the necessary documents: You'll need quite a bit of documentation to make it through the divorce process, including but not limited to: bank account statements, retirement account statements, loan statements, recent pay stubs, tax returns and a list of debts and assets.
  • Prepare for everything: Even if your soon-to-be ex-spouse says they want to work things out, this is very rarely the case. You're sure to run into resistance along the way, so you must prepare for anything and everything that could come to light.
  • Don't make big financial decisions: It's okay to do so after your divorce is finalized and you're financially stable, but don't do this while the process is unwinding. For instance, this is not a good time to purchase a new home or car.

Can excessive video game playing lead to divorce?

It's no secret that alcoholism, social media addiction and drug addiction have caused numerous Illinois divorces, but what about video game addiction? Since late last year, the wildly popular -- and highly addictive -- video, Fortnight, has taken the world by storm and it currently has 125 million players throughout the globe. Due to its time-sucking nature, the game also may be causing problems for marriages.

According to a popular divorce assistance website in the United Kingdom, in 2018, the website has received information pertaining to 200 divorce petitions that cited Fortnight addiction as one of the reasons for divorce.

Focus on the big picture in divorce, not just on your emotions

Seeking a divorce is a very stressful experience. For many people, even if they know their marriage was over, divorcing can bring out intense emotions. Feelings of anger, rejection or depression are common. These emotions can overwhelm you and drive you to do things that you would otherwise find inappropriate or even abhorrent.

Things can become heated quickly if you share significant assets with your spouse. Neither of you are likely to agree about the fairest way to split up your possessions. If you have children, parenting rights and custody decisions can also spark intense emotions.

Be prepared to talk about these issues with your lawyer

If you are thinking about divorce, you probably already know that you have a long and complicated process ahead of you. This is especially true if you own extensive assets in Cook County, such as a business and real estate, and have children. The stress of having strangers examine your finances and personal life under a microscope can sometimes seem overwhelming. Fortunately, a strong support system and even your divorce attorney can help you navigate the process and alleviate some of the stress.

However, one of the ways to stay on top of your divorce and keep your stress levels in check is to keep an open line of communication with your attorney. Also, you should prepare yourself to discuss certain subjects that you probably don't talk about with just anyone. The following includes some of the major issues you will have to address with your divorce attorney.

5 stages of divorce

If you are thinking about getting divorced, you probably already know that you could be entering a long and complicated process. From separation to actually filing a petition for divorce and dividing marital property, there are various stages you will have to complete.

You may be wondering exactly what to expect as you travel down the divorce highway. While each case may have slight variants, the following steps in the divorce process can prepare you for what lies ahead.

A positive attitude can improve co-parenting situations

Children have a lot of changes to deal with when their parents divorce. Trying to make the situation as positive as possible can help them manage. When parents decide to co-parent, they need to make an effort to work together as much as possible.

Even if it is difficult to deal with your ex, you have to do your part to make this arrangement work. Consider these tips to help you make the best of the situation:

Attorney Thomas Grotta's Victory Mentioned in Divorce Digest

A divorced father engaged the services of Thomas E. Grotta to defend him against an action brought by his ex-wife seeking an Order of Protection on behalf of the party's twelve year old son. The twelve year old son claimed the father hit him in the head, threatened to duct tape him, shave his head and repeatedly belittled him by calling him offensive names.

Get it over with? Think your divorce over, first!

It's easy to say you want to get your divorce over with, but if you don't do it right, you could end up hurting yourself in the long run. Imagine if you went to a surgeon who decided to "get it over with" and perform a surgery the same day after doing no tests. He or she could seriously hurt a patient. The same idea applies to a divorce. Without the right education and support for your claims, you could make mistakes that end up hurting you.

What can you do to make your divorce better for everyone without dragging it out? Be prepared. Before you decide you're getting a divorce, start collecting legal and financial documents. Gather your important items and make copies of them. When you speak to your attorney, you want to have as much information as possible.

Handling your finances during a divorce

When couples with significant assets choose to divorce, there is often a temptation on both sides to act in their own best interests and begin seizing assets for themselves, potentially complicating the divorce process later on.

This is particularly complicated when the couple shares access to financial accounts. Many couples do not understand the divorce process thoroughly enough to realize that the actions they take in their own self interest may actually come back to hurt them further down the road, and may even result in punitive action from a court.

Contact Us

Orland Park Office
10775 W. 163rd Place
Orland Park, IL 60467

Phone: 708-789-9479
Fax: 708-873-9555
Orland Park Law Office Map

Chicago Office
22 W. Washington Street
Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 708-789-9479
Fax: 708-873-9555
Map & Directions

Joliet Office
5 W. Jefferson Street
Suite 100
Freedom Court Building
Joliet, IL 60432

Phone: 708-789-9479
Fax: 708-873-9555
Map & Directions

Oak Brook Terrace Office
1 S 660 Midwest Road
Suite 320
Oak Brook Terrace, IL 60181

Phone: 708-789-9479
Fax: 708-873-9555
Map & Directions