With all the information regarding divorce available on the internet and online companies offering to help you get divorced cheaply without the help of an experienced attorney, you may wonder if it is possible to finalize your own divorce to save time and money. As the saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true…it probably is.” Divorce can involve many legal issues ranging from child custody, visitation (now known as parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities) and support to marital property division. Making sure that these important issues are handled properly calls for expert legal representation.
When it comes to dividing marital assets and debt, the final settlement often cannot be changed or revoked so getting it right is important. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the court will look at a variety of factors to determine a fair and equitable division. An experienced attorney will prepare your case to present your short and long term financial needs and make sure that you know exactly what the consequences may be for retaining or surrendering certain assets.
Questions abound and having a knowledgeable and experienced advocate on your side can make all the difference. If you are awarded the home, will you be able to handle the mortgage payments and upkeep? Will you be able to get a loan to put the house in your name? Are there tax consequences to consider if you sell the home in the future? An experienced marital property division lawyer will provide you with the information you need to make decisions in your best interests.
What about retirement and investment accounts? Giving your spouse the Roth IRA while you take the 401K may seem fair if they are equal values, however, the rules and tax treatment of the two are different. For example, you will pay taxes on money withdraw from a 401K, while your spouse will not. Meanwhile, other investments that are part of the marital estate may also appear to have identical values, but turn out to have wildly different tax liabilities. Accounts and their contents require careful examination by an experienced property division lawyer to ensure that a “fair” division is achieved.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to an event as life-altering as divorce. It is in your and your family’s best interest to get the help of an experienced attorney so you can avoid common pitfalls. The Libertyville, Illinois divorce attorneys of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC can help you navigate the process successfully so you can feel confident that you are getting the best representation possible. Email or call our offices for assistance today at 847-680-4970.