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Determine Your Post-Split Expenses Before the Illinois Divorce Process Begins

By Nottage and Ward on March 3, 2011

This is the conclusion of our three-part series on our blog about planning for your financial future while going through the divorce process in Illinois. In part one, we talked about reviewing your credit report and its significance in a divorce. In part two, we discussed why you should tally your marital assets and have them appraised. Finally, we will cover the importance of determining what your post-divorce expenses will be prior to beginning divorce negotiations.

Calculating living expenses, including child care, that were acquired during your marriage and then projecting those costs into the future can have a huge impact regarding who gets how much in the divorce settlement and why. According to a recent article on DailyFinance.com, it is recommended that both parties involved in your divorce attempt to find a way to work together at the start of divorce negotiations to conclude what your total household expenses were during your marriage to save time, as well as money, later on. It may also be beneficial to negotiate together the expenses of many of the ongoing costs that will occur once the divorce is final. You will also need to create your own estimates on expenses and budget projects because you will need to come to the divorce negotiations with someplace to begin.

The budget you had before your divorce is guaranteed to change, so you will need to determine whether your current income plus the divorce settlement will provide enough for your expenses. The article warns that many newly separated individuals often find themselves surprised at how expensive their pre-divorce lifestyle was, only now realizing it as they have to pay for it on their own. You should be sure to document your expenses so you can receive a fair settlement. However, you should also be prepared to decrease your expenses because the support payments you might receive may not be what you expect.

As you are planning your post-divorce budget, if you have any minor-aged children, you will also need to consider how child care will affect your finances. More than likely, you will be facing new costs that you never had to budget for previously, such as paying for day care or babysitters. Arranging to receive help to care for minor-aged children is a significant expense that you want to be sure you don’t leave out of settlement negotiations. Depending on your situation, you may also want to consider adding to your expenses during the divorce negotiations the cost of clothing, food, and other items that are required to properly raise a child.

If you are an Illinois resident and are considering getting a divorce, contact the Illinois divorce lawyers at Nottage and Ward. We have focused exclusively on family law for over 20 years and have the resources, skills, and experience necessary to ensure your legal rights are protected during the divorce process. Call us today at 312-332-2915 to learn how we can help you through this difficult time.

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