Making the decision to separate or divorce should never be one that is made lightly. Illinois residents have a number of family law tools available to them when divorce is on the radar. Instead of making an impulsive decision, it might be best to take stock of a few things before making any final decisions on whether to stay in a marriage or to leave.

Having some sort of guide might be helpful; if the decision has been made to leave each person should know where he or she is going, especially if children are a part of the situation. Answering the why question is also important for each individual — why is the marriage over? The answer to that question may make it easier to figure out the steps it will take to leave the relationship.

Communicating to each other the reasons why divorce should be the next step is also necessary. If telling a partner face-to-face is difficult, communicating those reasons in a letter might be easier. Telling the children should be something both parents do and experts say both parents should be focused on the positives moving forward as a different family unit. It’s also important to discuss and agree on issues pertaining to child custody and support.

It is important for Illinois couples who decide to divorce to have support and that includes independent legal support from an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer may be able to answer confusing questions about leaving a family home, child and spousal support and division of property. A lawyer may be able to help his or her client map out a plan to move ahead in the divorce process.