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Shocked by divorce? It’s time to get to work

You and your spouse were eating dinner when he suddenly put down his fork and looked straight at you. It took you by surprise, but with the look he gave, you knew what was coming.

At that moment, everything you’d built up during your marriage seemed to fall apart. Now, you have no choice but to go through with the divorce, because he’s already made up his mind.

Don’t let the initial shock of a divorce hinder your future.

Initially, it’s easy to fall into despair or to be enraged by your spouse asking for a divorce. Don’t let your emotions overshadow the fact that you need to start collecting evidence of your assets, financial documents and other materials as soon as you can.

Get started with the steps you need to take today.

Your spouse has already had time to go through your financial records and to start moving assets. It’s your job now to protect yourself and to know what you’re fighting for. You may want to enlist a forensic accountant and start taking photographs of valuable or expensive items. Whenever possible, you want to have records of what belongs to you and what your spouse owns separately.

An Illinois divorce falls under equitable-distribution laws, which means that you will divide your marital assets in a fair way, not necessarily equally. Be cautious and identify as many as your separate assets as possible, so that you can take them out of the equation and keep them for yourself. Your attorney will work with you to identify separate assets, marital assets and to work on negotiating for a fair divorce agreement.