If you decide to file for divorce, now is the time to think about items to gather before you start the process. Make a list of everything you will need in terms of paperwork, but also include outcomes you would like to see during the divorce and after it is final. Here are three things to add to your list. 

1. Financial and legal documents

Getting together all your legal and financial documents may support your claims for spousal support and property division. Legal and financial information includes: 

  • Marriage certificate 
  • Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements 
  • Copies of trusts and wills 
  • Bank accounts 
  • Credit cards 
  • Bank statements 
  • Balances 

Consider opening a bank account and credit card in your name. This is to protect you if your spouse takes money out of your joint account or maxes out the credit cards. 

2. Goals for custody

To ensure your children’s happiness after the divorce, what kind of visitation schedule do you want them to have with your spouse? In Illinois, the court looks at legal and physical custody. If you and your spouse cannot decide who the children will live with or how to make legal decisions concerning your children, the judge will choose for you. 

3. A support system

You will go through a range of emotions throughout the divorce. Talk to friends and family who you know will support you during this grueling time in your life. Venting and letting out your frustrations and leaning on them for advice and moral support may keep you stable and better prepare yourself to make smart decisions as your divorce progresses.