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DuPage County Divorce LawyerSavvy investors often buy one or more real estate properties. They rent the properties to tenants and receive rental income. While rental properties are a great way to earn passive income, addressing real estate property during a divorce is often complex. Many landlords are unsure of how rental properties will be dealt with during their divorce. If you or your spouse own one or more rental homes, speak to a divorce lawyer for help.

Real Estate Property Ownership Rights

There are two main types of assets in an Illinois divorce. Marital assets are those assets acquired during the marriage. Separate assets are assets that a person owned before getting married, property acquired through inheritance, and property acquired through gift. If an asset is considered marital property, both spouses have a right to a share of the asset’s value. If an asset is non-marital, it belongs solely to the spouse who originally obtained the asset.

Unfortunately, classifying property as marital or non-marital is not always as straightforward as it may seem. For example, a rental property that a spouse owned prior to getting married may become marital property if both spouses contribute to property taxes and maintenance costs.  

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Wheaton Family Law AttorneyIn any divorce case, there are important financial issues to be determined. The spouses' assets and debts will need to be identified, classified, valued, and divided. Spouses may also be subject to child support and spousal support obligations.

If you are getting divorced, you may have questions about how your money and property will be dealt with. Specifically, you may wonder whether assets you received through inheritance are subject to division. Typically, inheritance is not divided between spouses in an Illinois divorce. However, as with many financial concerns during divorce, the answer is not always this straightforward.  

Marital Versus Non-Marital Property

In Illinois, property in a divorce falls into one of two categories: marital property and non-marital property. Marital property belongs to both spouses while non-marital property only belongs to one spouse. Typically, any asset or debt that a spouse earns during the marriage is classified as marital property. However, inheritance is an exception to this rule.

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Wheaton divorce attorneyPerhaps you have scoured flea markets and auctions for years to build your collection of antique furniture. Maybe your coin collection has been growing since you were a young child and has only increased in value during your adulthood. Collectables such as these are not only valuable in the financial sense, but they are also valuable in the personal sense.

If you own an impressive collection of stamps, coins, trading cards, records, antiques, memorabilia, or other items of significant value, these assets can impact your divorce considerably. A skilled divorce lawyer can help you determine the best way to account for collectibles in your divorce case and ensure that your rights are protected during the division of marital property.

The First Step is Having Your Assets Professionally Valued

Determining the value of a collection is challenging for several reasons. Firstly, the value of antiques and other unique collectibles is often up for debate. The value of these items can also fluctuate as the market ebbs and flows. Furthermore, the collection as a whole is often more valuable than the items’ individual values. Before you can account for collectibles in your divorce, you will need to get the assets professionally valued by an appraiser.

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Wheaton IL divorce lawyerOfficially ending a marriage through divorce is much more than simply breaking up a relationship. Numerous financial and legal issues will need to be addressed including the division of marital debts and assets. However, before a couple can reach a property division agreement, they must first take stock of their marital and non-marital property. In many divorce cases, correctly valuing these assets in preparation for division is one of the most challenging aspects of the divorce.

Determining the Value of Complex Assets

Per Illinois law, spouses are entitled to an equitable share of the marital estate. The marital estate contains property that was accumulated during the marriage with some notable exceptions such as property obtained through gift or inheritance. Whether spouses are able to reach an out-of-court settlement or the case goes to litigation, property must be properly valued before it can be divided. Some assets that are often especially difficult to value include:

Business interests – If a spouse or couple owns a business or has business interests, the value of the assets will need to be calculated in order for the asset to be properly addressed during the divorce. The spouses may want to work with a skilled accountant or business valuation specialist in addition to their divorce lawyer to determine the best way to accurately value the business. Another consideration that makes dividing a business during divorce challenging is that part of the business assets may be classified as marital and part classified as non-marital. Even if a business was acquired before the marriage, the non-owner spouse may be entitled to a portion of the business’s proceeds.

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wheaton divorce lawyerIn large part, getting a divorce is a financial transaction that requires the couple to fairly divide their marital assets and debts. This can include everything from the marital home and the associated mortgage, to bank accounts, retirement savings, vehicles, and household items. However, one of the most contentious subjects for many couples is how to handle credit card debt. If your marriage and finances are currently struggling, here are some things you should consider.

Credit Card Debt is a Common Cause of Divorce

A recent study shows that divorce is up to 30 percent more likely for married couples who argue about finances, and credit card debt is a common focus of such arguments. Unlike a mortgage, credit card debt can accumulate due to a spouse’s irresponsible spending habits, sometimes before the other spouse even realizes what is happening. This can contribute to mistrust and resentment that ultimately leads to irreconcilable differences. If you hope to have a chance of saving your marriage, working together to manage your debt may be your best option.

Most Credit Card Debt Will Need to Be Divided

If you do proceed with a divorce, you should know that in most cases, all credit card debt incurred by either spouse during the marriage will be part of the division of marital property. This includes debt from joint credit card accounts, as well as debt from individual accounts in each spouse’s name. You may be able to prepare for your divorce by paying off as much debt as possible ahead of time. For any debt remaining, you will likely either need to fairly divide it between you and your spouse, or offset it through the distribution of assets. In either case, you should try to update your accounts to prevent a situation in which both spouses are still liable to creditors.

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