We are open for business and offering phone and video consultations during business hours.

Free Initial Consultations

Phone630-580-6373
With offices in Naperville, Joliet, Wheaton, Plainfield & Chicago
Livas Law Group

DuPage County divorce attorneysUnlike some other states, Illinois does not require divorcing couples to divide marital property in half between them. However, it does require them to divide assets equitably to prevent either party from facing excessive hardship, and in order to do so, it is important to know how much the marital property is worth. Valuing property can be one of the most complicated parts of the divorce process, but with the help of an experienced attorney and financial professionals, you can better ensure an outcome that protects your interests.

The Process of Valuing Marital Property

Before beginning the process of valuing marital assets, it is important to determine which properties are considered to belong to the marital estate, and which are considered individual, non-marital property. In general, non-marital property is that which was acquired by either spouse before the marriage, whereas marital property is that which was acquired by either spouse during the marriage, except through an inheritance, gift, or a few other exceptions. In some cases, however, non-marital property may have been combined or commingled with marital property in a way that makes it difficult to isolate during a divorce. It is usually a good idea to work with a personal accountant or another financial professional to help you distinguish marital and non-marital property.

Once you have a better idea of which properties are considered marital, it is then important to determine how much each of them is worth. Some assets, like bank accounts, retirement accounts, and stock investments, have a relatively straightforward value, but it is important to establish a date at which the value is determined for division purposes, since it may fluctuate over time. You may be able to agree upon a date with your spouse, or the court may make the decision.

...

Wheaton family law attorneysIn an Illinois divorce, couples must divide all marital property equitably according to their personal situation. In order for a fair distribution to occur, it is important to ensure that neither spouse intentionally harms or selfishly uses property belonging to the marital estate in the time leading up to the divorce. If you believe that your spouse has been dissipating marital assets, it is important to work with an attorney to gather evidence and present your case to the court to make the situation right.

What is Considered Dissipation of Assets?

In order for a spouse’s spending or use of property to be considered dissipation of marital assets, Illinois law states that it must take place after the marriage has started to break down irretrievably. The behavior must also involve marital property, generally meaning assets acquired during the marriage that are considered to belong to both spouses. A spouse using his or her own non-marital assets during this time will likely not affect the divorce resolution.

The assets in question must also have been spent in a way that harms the marital estate or benefits only the spouse who does the spending. Possible examples include making an extravagant purchase or going on a solo trip, gambling excessively, destroying marital property, or spending money on an affair outside of the marriage.

...

Wheaton divorce attorneysIf you are getting a divorce, especially in your later years, one of your biggest concerns is likely how it will affect your financial situation. Specifically, you may wonder what will happen to your retirement savings and whether you will still be able to retire as planned. In order to prepare for the impact of your divorce on your retirement, it is important to understand both Illinois property division law and the tax implications of different retirement accounts.

How Are Assets Divided in an Illinois Divorce?

Under Illinois law, all marital property is to be divided equitably between spouses as part of a divorce resolution. This does not mean that the division has to be exactly equal, but it should be fair to both parties and prevent either from facing undue hardship. In some cases, the details of the division of property are left to the court’s decision, but divorcing couples also have the opportunity to reach an agreement of their own and submit it to the court for approval. 

With this in mind, the answers to two questions can help you determine whether your retirement assets will be divided:

...

Wheaton divorce attorneysOut of all of the marital properties that must be divided in a divorce, perhaps none carries a greater emotional weight than the family home. It may be the place where you and your spouse began your life together, or where you have raised your children and made lasting memories. However, as you consider what will happen to your home during the divorce, it is best to try to set aside emotions and make a rational plan for achieving your desired outcome.

Options for the Marital Home When Dividing Assets

Because Illinois requires an equitable distribution of marital assets rather than a 50/50 split, getting a divorce does not mean that you and your spouse will have to divide the value of the house down the middle. Rather, you have a wide range of options, especially if you are willing to work together to negotiate a solution. Some of the possibilities include:

  • Following the terms of your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement: It is worth noting that if you and your spouse created a legally valid agreement, either before or during your marriage, that specifies what becomes of the marital home in a divorce, the court will usually honor it. This can save you time and stress during the divorce process.
  • Granting ownership to the spouse with greater parenting time: You and your spouse may decide it is best for your children to continue spending most of their time in the home they are used to, and this is also a factor the court may consider even if you cannot reach an agreement on your own. With this option, the spouse who keeps the home should be sure that he or she can manage any accompanying expenses, and should be aware that it may mean giving up a greater share of other properties.
  • Maintaining joint ownership temporarily: If the primary custodial parent cannot afford to keep the house alone, you may be able to reach an agreement in which you and your spouse continue to own the home together until your children are grown. Maintaining joint ownership for a time may also be a good idea if the housing market is not currently favorable to sellers.
  • Selling the home: If neither spouse has a strong attachment to the home, or if neither would be able to afford to keep it on his or her own, the best option may be to sell it and divide the proceeds after paying off any outstanding debt. This may also be the outcome if you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement and the decision is left in the court’s hands.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer Today

At Davi Law Group, we understand how important your home may be to you, and we will help you explore all possible options for it during your divorce. We can advise you through cooperative negotiations with your spouse or represent your interests in a divorce trial if necessary. Contact a compassionate Wheaton, IL family law attorney at 630-504-0176 to schedule a free consultation.

...

Naperville divorce attorneysGetting a divorce can create financial strain for both spouses because of the required division of assets and the potential for child and spousal support obligations. This may be especially difficult if you have significant debt at the time of your divorce. If you are not careful, debt problems can become increasingly complicated after your divorce, so it is important to consider options that can alleviate your debt burden during the divorce process.

When is Debt Considered Marital Property in Illinois?

You may be aware that marital property will be divided in your divorce, but it can come as a surprise that debts accumulated during your marriage are considered part of that property. This may be true whether the debt was incurred by one spouse or both together. Marital debt can come from many sources, including mortgages, car loans, student loans, business loans, and credit card debt. Any remaining marital debt at the time of your divorce must be distributed fairly between you and your spouse.

Strategies for Avoiding Debt Complications in Your Divorce

As your divorce approaches, you may be able to reduce your debt obligations or prevent future complications with creditors by being proactive, especially if you and your spouse are willing to cooperate and negotiate. Some strategies for mitigating the effects of marital debt include:

...
Back to Top