We’ve all heard divorce horror stories. You may know a recent divorcee who is struggling to make ends meet because her spouse walked off with all the family assets. Or, you may know someone who negotiated a fabulous settlement, but ended up declaring bankruptcy because of legal fees.

Few people are experts at getting divorced. Fortunately, our divorce attorneys have the experience to recognize common pitfalls in the divorce process. Here are five ways to help prepare for a divorce to set yourself up for a smoother divorce.

Get Quality Professional Divorce Advice

Chicago divorce law can be very complicated. Hiring experts will ensure that your rights and your best interests are protected. Your divorce attorney will assist with property division, support arrangements, and child custody. You may also want to consult a financial planner for help creating a post-divorce budget and a long term financial plan. A forensic accountant can help if you think your spouse may be hiding assets. Your divorce can affect the rest of your life, so it’s important to have qualified professionals on your side.

Create a Post-divorce Budget

Before you split your marital assets is made, consider your needs after the divorce. Create a post-divorce budget and consider any long-term financial needs such as your retirement and college for the kids. Identify which assets will help ensure your financial security, and make keeping those assets your priority.

Avoid Agreeing to a Quick Settlement in order to “get it over”

Your ex may be pressuring you to sign the divorce agreement, but signing to quickly could have a negative effect on your future. Ask for a complete listing of your marital assets, their value and where they held, so you know if a settlement offer is fair. A good settlement should provide you with a place to live, some liquid cash, some money for retirement, and little or no debt.

Avoid Letting Your Emotions Cloud Judgement 

It’s easy to let your anger at your ex overrule your good judgement during the divorce process. However, conflict will drag out your divorce and this means more legal fees. Decide on your priorities and be willing to negotiate on other matters.

Not Taking Care of Yourself

A divorce is a life-changing event, but it doesn’t mean that you have to change everything about your life. Set aside time to enjoy favorite hobbies, spend time with friends and relax.

Our Chicago divorce attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, are committed to helping every client achieve a better future. Please call 312-252-2085 to learn how we can help you.