Understand your Assets and Liabilities:
Begin the process of understanding what you own together with your spouse or individually in your own name. If possible, download the uniform Illinois Financial Affidavit which will assist you in identifying your monthly expenses, your assets and your liabilities. Try to become familiar with the dates upon which assets were acquired, specifically whether those assets were acquired before or during the marriage.
Organize your Documentation:
Gather together account statements and documents including tax returns in order to become familiar with your current financial situation. Make copies and store them safely and securely.
If already employed, make efforts to keep and maintain employment as work provides a measure of security and stability during and after the divorce process. If a change in employment is imminent, do so with caution and always seek the advice of counsel if the change will impact individual or family finances.
Avoid Legal Transactions:
If contemplating a decision to sell or transfer an asset, prior to beginning a divorce proceeding, consult with an attorney before doing so. Such steps can have dramatic import in a potential proceeding.
Attend to You
Prioritize your emotional and physical needs during this difficult time. A lack of attention to your health and well-being will exacerbate your stress and inhibit your ability to think clearly. Sleep and healthy eating are critical to well-being during all phases of life but never more critical during stressful times of change and upheaval. Be unafraid to address personal issues to ensure your health.