One of the most contentious issues in most divorces, aside from child custody, is finances. Once the divorce process begins, you, unfortunately, will have very little control over what happens to your money and assets.
Though Illinois is not a community property state, the law still requires the equitable distribution of marital funds. Any income and savings you amassed during your marriage are technically marital property. For this reason, Ramsey Solutions recommends you take steps sooner rather than later to protect your finances and your future.
Separate your finances
As soon as you suspect that divorce is imminent, start separating your finances. If you share an account with your spouse, set up separate checking and savings accounts and have your employer reroute your paycheck. If you plan to stay in the marital home, put the bills and subscriptions in your name. If you and your spouse share a credit card, call the company and ask it to put a hold on the account for the time being so as to avoid racking up further shared debt.
Build an emergency fund
Having an emergency fund in place is more important than ever when you go from being a dual-income household to a single-income one. Start building an emergency fund when you and your spouse still live together. You will be thankful for this reserve when the car breaks down, or the hot water tank springs a leak. Ideally, you will have $1,000 or more in this fund.
These are just a few ways you can prepare financially for divorce. A professional can help you identify other tips for protecting your money through the process.