The concept of property division and divorce are familiar to most Americans. Using the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a court will divide property between a divorcing couple in a fair and equitable manner. Dividing a business is much more complicated than dividing a car or the value of a home. Determining the value of a business is further complicated by the fact that the value of a business may fluctuate over time, increasing or decreasing in value at any point in time. If your spouse owns a business, how will an Illinois court value the business upon divorce?
Is a Business Marital Property?
A court will first attempt to determine whether the business is marital property. If your spouse started the business before the marriage and the profits and assets are kept separate from other marital assets, then a court is likely to find the business is not marital property. This means that your spouse’s business will not be divided between the spouses. On the other hand, if your spouse started the business during the marriage, and business deposits/withdraws funds from a joint account, or if business profits are used to pay common expenses, then a court may view the business as marital property and subject the property to division.