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Tips for Divorce After Case is Filed

You’ve Filed for Divorce, Now What?

Hi, Jim here. At Franks & Rechenberg we believe there are 6 things that you can do once your Divorce case is filed to not only keep your costs down but to maintain the status quo.

First is with respect to the bills that are being paid. If you are the one that’s primarily paying the majority of the bills, keep paying them. If you are only contributing to the bills, keep contributing to the bills. The last thing you want to have a lawyer to present to the Court is a Petition for Temporary Relief asking that you pay the bills or maintain the status quo.

Second, don’t move out of the marital residence if at all possible. Certainly, if there is come danger involved regarding your spouse or your significant other. Removing yourself from the marital residence might be the only feasible plan of action for you. However if one person moves out of the marital residence the Court can consider the additional bills that the party moving out paid as part of dissipation against their claim of the marital estate. They can also consider the party moving out as having increased more bills that could have gone toward paying toward the marital residence bills.

Third, where boyfriends and girlfriends are concerned, the Judges in McHenry County are typically conservative in their nature when it comes to extra-marital relations. While there are no grounds for adultery anymore in Illinois, extra-marital relations can have an impact not only on the raising the children as far as the Courts are concerned, but on the claims for assets and debts. If you are spending money on a boyfriend or girlfriend, again that’s money that the Courts could consider you having been able to spend on the marital residence bills but simply choosing not to.

Purchasing large assets and incurring more debt both have a direct impact on your case. The general rule is that anything purchased during the course of the marital relationship or debt incurred during the course of the marital relationship is marital in nature. If you sold the old car and you bought a brand new car, guess who gets entitled to half of that new car? If you have incurred $10,000 in credit card debt or your spouse has incurred $10,000 in credit card debt, guess who is responsible for half of that debt?

With respect to retirement accounts, you can always take money from your retirement accounts if you don’t mind paying taxes and a penalty for withdrawals of those moneys. You should wait until your divorce if finalized. That way the attorney can prepare a domestic relations order that allows you to remove monies from your retirement account without incurring any such taxes or penalties. These are six things that we at Franks & Rechenberg believe that if you avoid doing, you can maintain the status quo and keep your attorney’s fees and costs down during the course of your litigation.

Thank you.

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