Divorce is an emotionally challenging period for everyone involved. The process involves a lot of changes and adjustments regarding living arrangements, parenting schedules, finances, possessions, and properties. To help you make the right decisions, you need to be well informed with as much credible information as possible. Let’s take a look at a few things you should know about the Illinois divorce process:

Each divorce is different

It is natural to lean on friends and family who have gone through a divorce for advice. There is nothing wrong with gaining insight and getting information from other people whom you trust. Just make sure that you are aware that no two divorces are completely alike. Your goals for the divorce may be different. There may be more complicated assets involved. With all the varying factors, consulting professionals will help you get accurate information that is relevant to your case. An experienced attorney, qualified financial consultant, and supportive mental health professional are here to help you work out the divorce issues and get to a favorable divorce outcome. Your peers who have gone through divorce may have something to share, but what happened during their divorce and what they went through might differ drastically from your case.

Documentation is very important. It can make or break your case.

Items of value, from simple possessions to valuable assets, will likely be disputed. To avoid getting stressed from the need to provide proof of ownership, make it a habit to take an inventory of the items in your household and document each accordingly. Take photos of each item and remember to use the newspaper’s front page as a timestamp authenticating the date and time each photo was taken. It is important to get the items in your inventory appraised. When you have listed all the items, keep your list and photos of the items in a safe place. Also, duplicate your copies of important documents, because of the chance that the other party may try to hide or destroy valuable documents to benefit their divorce claims or to sabotage yours. To avoid these things from happening, keep copies of all important papers and documents secure.

Keep your expectations regarding a “fair settlement” realistic.

There are times when divorcing couples have a different expectation of what a “fair settlement” is compared to the court. To help your case along, you need to understand the way the law applies to your case and accept that there will be times when a compromise will help resolve an issue. A few things that will be considered are: the spouse’s contribution to the marital property, the value of the property awarded to each spouse, the financial status of each spouse and the future earning potential of each spouse.

The divorce is between you and your spouse; do not involve the children

Research has proven that children of parents who fought a lot during divorce have a harder time coping. As a parent, you need to remember to be responsible with what you say and how you treat the other parent in front of your children. Insulting your spouse can emotionally and psychologically harm your children. Remember that your children will have a continuing relationship with their other parent. Rather than alienate your children from the other parent, you must encourage and support their connection and bond.

There really is no “winner” in a divorce case.

Every couple who is going through a divorce must understand that many elements come into play in the final awarding and there is no “winner”. When going through a divorce, avoid having an attitude where you are trying to “win” the divorce. The right attitude that benefits everyone involved is to look into the long-term effects of divorce and proceed fairly on who should get what. The fact is a heated divorce battle has its lasting and profound negative impact on each spouse and the children that trying to “win” is simply just not worth it.

Be open and honest

During divorce, many people are tempted to hide things from their attorney or spouse. It cannot be emphasized enough that you need to be completely honest during your divorce. Not only will it help your attorney prepare the best case for you, but your case could be negatively impacted if it is discovered that you tried to hide assets or information.

The divorce process can be very complicated, so it is beneficial to have an experienced attorney by your side. If you are thinking about divorce, schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today. We are here to guide you from chaos to clarity in your marital situation.