Divorcing couple

How to Prepare for a Contested Divorce

Divorce can be one of life’s hardest realities. After years of building a relationship with your spouse, you may both realize that your marriage is not one that ends in happily ever after. The next step would be to begin the divorce process, which can be quite challenging for many. There’s typically an overwhelming amount of varying emotions, and you’ll have to make tremendous decisions on property division, child custody, and support orders.

For some spouses, they can reach a resolution on their divorce terms smoothly. However, you could have a contested divorce where both parties disagree on significant issues. The two are like day and night, and while the first may be ideal, it’s not always possible. At Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., we want to ensure that you are well prepared for whatever divorce you are about to face. Below, we’ve shared our top tips for navigating a contested divorce.

Gather Essential Financial Documents

During a high-conflict divorce case, many spouses disagree on the division of their marital assets. One party may believe they should own the family home, and the other may have a strong claim as well. To help paint an accurate picture of what you own and build a strong case, you should begin putting together these financial documents:

  • Joint tax returns and personal tax returns

  • Bank statements

  • You and your spouse’s income

  • Statements for investment accounts

  • List of real property you and your partner share

  • Property deed

Safeguard your Data and Information

Contested divorces often involve emotional disputes, which can sometimes lead to regrettable decisions. For example, the other party may try to get your information to help their own case. Even if you believe your spouse would never do that, taking extra precautions does not hurt also to help yourself. This helps ensure that no important information is lost. Back up your financial records, emails, physical mail, and electronic data and keep it in a protected place.

Consider Child Custody Issues

We often see divorcing parents disagreeing on issues relating to their children. This not only prolongs the process, but it can be a painful experience for the kids to go through. To help ensure that everything is handled efficiently, we recommend thinking ahead about what type of custody arrangement would promote the best interests of the children.

Familiarize yourself with your state’s parenting guidelines so that you know what is necessary to develop an excellent parenting plan. Our child custody lawyers at Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. know how important your kids are to you. We’ll walk you through each step with compassion and provide personalized solutions for you and your loved ones. In many cases, we recommend mediation to resolve these types of disputes to spare your children from seeing their parents go through a litigated divorce.

Hire an Experienced Divorce Litigator

In any case, you should get a skilled family lawyer to help walk you through your divorce. However, if you are about to engage in a contested divorce, it’s best to seek an experienced divorce litigator. You’ll have to work out complex issues and may end up in the courtroom where you’ll want a litigator by your side who’ll protect your best interests.

Whether you have a simple and straightforward divorce settled out of court or an extremely contentious divorce that requires strategic litigation, our lawyers at Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. have the knowledge and skill to represent you.

We are here to help pave the way to a brighter tomorrow. Reach out to our Illinois divorce lawyers today at (312) 487-2795 to schedule a consultation.

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