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Candy-heart-sized divorce suggestions

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Valentine's Day is coming fast. Its approach can be bittersweet for couples going through a divorce. But divorcing couples should keep their eye on the prize, a new future. To do that, people going through a divorce should keep these phrases in mind.

Get going. Divorce is a time to take action, to get your financial affairs in order. That means locating and copying all of your important financial documents. Keep these copies secure from your soon-to-be ex.

Call me. While assembling your paperwork, you will also want to assemble your team. This could include a lawyer, a divorce financial planner, a therapist, a vocational consultant and a real estate appraiser. Get these professionals lined up soon so that you are not left scrambling at the end for a professional to take the case on short notice.

It's love . . . not. As the expression goes: Marriage is about love, divorce is about money. The expression oversimplifies, but during a divorce, it is important to separate money issues from love issues and then to prioritize finances. Not doing so can result in a bad financial situation post-divorce.

Be true. Divorce, like all changes, offers an opportunity to reconnect and grow. Examine your values, interests and goals. Establish a framework for making them a reality.

You can. Divorce is hard, but you can get through it. You can leave the divorce process stronger and more confident than you started it.

Illinoisans who follow these candy-heart-sized suggestions will have taken a large step in emerging from their divorce ready to prosper.

Source: Forbes, "Candy 'Conversation Hearts' For Divorcing Women on Valentine's Day," Jeff Landers, Feb. 11, 2014

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