Divorce is a complicated and emotional process that entails much more than many people realize at first. While divorce aims to end a marriage contract, much of the actual process revolves around financial matters between the divorcing spouses. Therefore, if you plan to end your marriage in Bloomington, IL, in the near future, it’s natural to feel uncertain about the situation, and you likely have many questions when it comes to the financial implications your divorce will have for your foreseeable future.
Take time to consider the various financial implications your divorce will have and consult an experienced Bloomington divorce attorney as soon as possible after deciding to end your marriage. A reliable legal team is invaluable for navigating the complex financial issues that most divorce cases involve.
One of the most stressful aspects of the divorce process is property division, the process of dividing a divorcing couple’s marital property and assigning separate ownership rights to each spouse. Illinois enforces an equitable distribution law, meaning the family court will strive to ensure that property division results in the fairest possible division of marital assets in a divorce case. This does not mean the result will be necessarily equal, however.
If property division is left up to a Bloomington family court judge, they must consider numerous factors to reach a fair and equitable outcome to property division determination. These factors include the incomes of both spouses, their respective job experience, the contributions each of them has made toward the marriage, their parental responsibilities and custody rights, and various other considerations.
The property division process requires both divorcing spouses to complete financial disclosure statements. These must include complete and accurate lists of all the property, assets, and debt liabilities each spouse owns. If you are unsure how to complete your financial disclosure statement or do not know how to obtain the documentation, you must provide it to the Bloomington family court; an experienced family law attorney is the best resource to consult.
If you are divorcing and have children with your spouse, child support determination is likely to be one of the most contentious issues in your divorce case. While it’s possible for divorcing spouses to privately negotiate many aspects of property division through alternative dispute resolution, the same does not apply to child support. The Bloomington family court has a legal duty to ensure that a child support determination suits the best interests of the children it will affect.
Depending on the age of your children at the time of your divorce, you could expect to pay or receive child support payments for many years. Your child support arrangement hinges on your child custody determination. The Bloomington, IL, family court system upholds that a child is entitled to financial support from both parents, and the court considers a custodial parent to fulfill their financial obligation by assuming physical custody of their child and providing day-to-day care and support. Your Bloomington divorce attorney can assist you in making a compelling case for custody and ensuring your child support determination is fair, reasonable, and suitable for your child’s needs and interests.
Alimony or spousal support can come into play in a divorce in which one spouse has supported the other through their career by making sacrifices in terms of their own career or if one of the spouses earns substantially more income than the other. The equitable distribution law of Illinois generally strives to reduce or eliminate the need for long-term spousal support arrangements, leading many judges to award more significant shares of marital property to financially disadvantaged divorcing spouses. However, alimony is still likely to come into play if a judge determines the lower-earning spouse needs financial support following their divorce.
The amount paid in alimony typically depends on the difference in finances between the two spouses. In addition, the length of time the paying spouse must continue making payments typically depends on the length their marriage has lasted. For example, if a couple was only married for one year before divorcing, the paying spouse may only be required to make alimony payments for a few months. However, if the divorcing couple was together for 10 years or longer, alimony payments may be required for several years.
One of the most often overlooked financial aspects of the divorce process is the effects a divorce can have on estate plans. For example, suppose you are ending your marriage and have your soon-to-be ex-spouse listed as your beneficiary on your life insurance and estate plan. In that case, it’s a good idea to have a Bloomington attorney assist you in revising your plan. You may not only need to adjust your beneficiary designations but also revise other portions of your estate plan if your divorce has altered the amount of property and assets you own.
Estate planning may not directly occur during your divorce proceedings, but it is still an essential consideration following your divorce. For example, you may need to divide elements of your estate in your divorce proceedings, such as investment accounts, retirement accounts, and physical property acquired during your marriage.
Find Legal Counsel for Your Bloomington Divorce
The divorce process is likely to influence your future in many ways for years to come. Unfortunately, the financial implications of divorce are difficult to predict, even if you have minimal assets and expect a relatively streamlined divorce process. Therefore, it’s vital to avoid going into your divorce with set expectations and to be prepared for unexpected financial disputes as your divorce unfolds.
One of the best things you can do to prepare for the financial questions your divorce is likely to raise is to secure legal representation as soon as you have decided to divorce. Hiring the right attorney will make a significant difference in the outcome of your divorce and the quality of your experience with the divorce process. Therefore, consult an experienced Bloomington divorce attorney as soon as possible to prepare yourself for the complex financial issues your divorce is likely to present.