Heading for a Second Divorce?

Posted by Erin Birt | Sep 26, 2022 | 0 Comments

Is a Second Divorce on the Horizon? Consider the Following

If you are willing to admit your failed marriage is irretrievably broken, you deserve praise for being honest. You are a brave person worthy of respect and assistance from an experienced divorce attorney willing to fiercely advocate and negotiate on your behalf. Here's a quick look at what to consider if you are on the verge of a second divorce.

Itemize All Household and Family Possessions

Take an inventory of everything of meaningful value in your home. Everything from appliances to art, furniture and more should be listed. Be sure to look at the storage spaces throughout the property, along with any safes or deposit boxes in which old coins, keepsakes and other items of potential value are located. A full inventory of marital assets makes it that much easier to fairly divide the property as your second divorce plays out in and out of court.

Prepare for Meeting with Divorce Attorney by Copying All Relevant Documents

Take a close look at the files in your filing cabinets, desk drawers and other spaces. Make a copy of every important document, including:

  • Retirement account statements
  • Mortgage documents
  • Life insurance policies
  • Credit card statements
  • Estate planning documents
  • Car titles
  • Social Security documentation

It is also in your interest to make copies of the financial information on your computer. Make two copies of the documents: one for your personal files and one for your divorce attorney's review and potential use in mediation, settlement negotiations, or a court of law.

Mind Your Credit

A second divorce is an indication that it is time to focus on protecting everything you have worked so hard to obtain. If your credit history is poor, proactively address it. You may want to work with a divorce financial planner and make a concerted effort to pay off creditors as soon as possible so you'll have a solid credit score before divorcing. Our firm can provide you with a trusted referral to also help you seamlessly transition back to the legal process when the time is right.

It is a mistake to let your current spouse use your credit cards or even run up charges on jointly held credit cards. Consult with your divorce attorney early for additional guidance to mitigate potential credit damage and financial loss prior to a second divorce.

Document Your Spouse's Financial Income

Make copies of your spouse's financial income, be it in the form of tax returns, pay stubs, 1099 forms, etc. If your spouse is self-employed, it is advisable to monitor their incoming revenue across a period of months so those figures can be used to calculate potential child support or alimony payments during divorce proceedings. Gathering this information early and before you start any court proceedings is much easier cheaper than obtaining the same information through costly litigation and discovery proceedings.

Prioritize Your Children and Start Saving

Above all, think of the kids in the context of your second divorce. Even the pets in the family should be considered during the legal proceedings. Prioritize the kids, become involved in your child's life in terms of sports, homework and establishing connections with others. Refrain from consuming alcohol/drugs around your children, don't speak negatively about your spouse to your kids, and always put your kids' interest ahead of that of your spouse and possibly even your own.

Part of preparing for a second divorce involves building a financial nest egg for yourself, your kids and your furry friends.  If your spouse is the breadwinner or controls bank accounts, create checking and savings accounts of your own. Start saving your money now, and your second divorce won't be nearly as stressful. A bonus is that you'll hit the ground running with a solid financial base after the second divorce process culminates in a matrimonial settlement agreement or other arrangements. Another tip is to work with our firm to create your proactive exit plan.

Birt Law Is Here to Help

If you are considering a second divorce, take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Our divorce attorneys have helped members of the community make it through a second divorce without drama, frustration or significant financial loss. Reach out to us today at 630-891-2478 to schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys.


  1. DuPage County Divorce Mediation and Family Law Mediation - The Law Firm of Erin Birt (birtlaw.com)
  2. Illinois Divorce Services | The Law Firm of Erin N. Birt, P.C. (birtlaw.com)
  3. Illinois A La Carte Divorce Services | The Law Firm of Erin N. Birt, P.C. (birtlaw.com)
  4. Divorce Can Seriously Hurt Your Credit Score – Especially If You're a Woman | Bankrate.com
  5. Separate and Community Property During Marriage: Who Owns What? | Nolo
  6. How to Divide Property and Debts in Divorce | Nolo
  7. Exit Plan (birtlaw.com)

About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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