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Illinois divorce lawyersThe valuation and distribution of assets is one of the leading sources of contention during a divorce - even more so when the assets are unusual or otherwise difficult to value. For example, artists and other creative individuals may be required to value and split the value of their works. Art collectors may be subject to the same valuation and division of their beloved artwork. Other collectibles and family-run businesses can also be difficult to divide. Learn what you need to know about dividing difficult to value assets in your Illinois divorce, and discover how a seasoned divorce lawyer can assist you with the process. 

Placing Value on Unusual Items During Divorce 

Divorce settlements are reached by first examining the total value of the couple’s marital estate. Some assets are easy to value. For example, a bank account is only worth what is in it. Other assets, such as artwork, jewelry, cryptocurrencies, coin collections, luxury furniture, and businesses are far more difficult to value. For items such as these, an expert appraiser is needed. Most often, they will determine what the item would be worth if it were auctioned off or sold. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyersIn an Illinois divorce, parties divide their assets in an equitable manner. However, not all items can be divided or split. Some items can also be difficult to value; art is a prime example. Learn more about how difficult-to-divide assets like artwork are divided in a divorce, and discover how a seasoned attorney can help to protect your financial future.

The Value of Art

Legally speaking, artwork purchased during the marriage is no different than any other valuable asset; it is appraised and receives a dollar value and is then added to the overall total of the marital estate. Parties can then either sell the artwork and split the proceeds in an equitable manner, or one party can “buy” the other out by offering other assets in lieu of the artwork. 

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Illinois divorce lawyersWhile it is possible to take a divorce case to litigation, settlements are often more favorable for all parties if a settlement can be negotiated. Sadly, divorce often involves a lot of deep and painful emotions, and that can cause people to act in ways that are unexpected or out of character. Money and child-related matters can also turn what might have been an amicable situation into a contentious one, especially if one or both parties try to use hard bargaining tactics to get what they want in the divorce. Learn how to reduce the risk of such issues in your case, thereby increasing your chances of obtaining a favorable settlement in an Illinois divorce.

Leave Your Emotions Out of the Process

It can be difficult to separate your emotions from the legal aspects of your divorce, yet doing so is essential if you hope to successfully navigate the negotiation process. That is because you cannot make rational decisions about your assets or other aspects of your case if you are viewing them through an emotional lens and placing a non-monetary value on them. Most divorcing parties find that therapy and other support systems, such as family and friends, are a great way to process the emotions they experience during the divorce process so that they do not affect the proceedings. Self-care can also be helpful in counteracting negative or painful emotions.

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DuPage County divorce lawyersOf all the elements of divorce, few are quite as contentious as the division of marital assets. Illinois divorces can become especially heated since, unlike in other states, assets are divided “fairly,” rather than equally. Learn more about how assets are divided in an Illinois divorce, and how an experienced attorney can protect your financial future during the process.

Equitable Distribution versus Equal Distribution

While many states distribute property equally in divorce – meaning, the value of the estate is divided equally between both parties – Illinois uses an equitable distribution method. Essentially, this means that the estate is divided “fairly” between the divorcing parties. Unfortunately, everyone has a different perception on what, exactly, fair means.

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effectiveness of a prenuptial agreementThese days, many people contemplating marriage consider entering into a prenuptial agreement. This legal document was traditionally used almost exclusively by the very wealthy in order to protect their assets in the event of divorce. However, it is increasing in popularity among people with average income today in order to set expectations and come to an agreement on certain terms in the event of divorce long before a marriage ever breaks down.

While such a conversation may be uncomfortable for a couple to have as they are planning to spend their lives together, the taboo that used to be associated with entering into a prenuptial agreement may have faded somewhat in recent years. This is good news for those who may be interested in entering into such an agreement, but one question remains: how effective is the document in successfully determining each spouse’s rights in the event of divorce and being held valid in the face of challenges?

Safety of a Prenup

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property division illinois divorceDuring a divorce proceeding, the parties may attempt to come to an agreement about the way in which they will divide their marital property between them. However, if they are unable to come to an agreement, or if their agreement is found to be unfair and unconscionable, it is up to the Illinois Courts to divide the marital estate between the divorcing parties in a way it sees fit. The court employs the law as a guideline in making a property determination within a divorce decree.

Equitable Distribution

Illinois state law follows the concept of equitable distribution in dividing marital property. This allows the court to make a property determination based on fairness and may not involve a perfect 50/50 split of marital property awarded to each party. The court will separate what is classified as marital property from what is considered separate property, and will equitably divide the marital property between divorcing spouses.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce finances, gray divorce, divorce after 50, DuPage County divorce lawyer, divorce attorney in IllinoisAny couple that decides to divorce will have financial considerations to take into account, but issues surrounding divorce finances may affect those couples who divorce later in life the most. Ending a marriage after the age of 50 can have its own set of issues to address when it comes to preserving financial security. Often, couples of that age have investments, savings, accumulated assets, and retirement accounts to sort through.

Questions to Ask

Many older couples in this situation may need to take actions that they would not have had to if they remained married, such as going back to work or selling their home. However, there are steps these individuals can take to minimize the the financial effect their divorce will have. According to a financial advice article recently published, there are certain questions divorcees can ask before, during, and after a divorce proceeding to ensure financial security.
  • Where is the money? Those who are getting divorced need to identify and determine what marital property will be eligible for division. This generally includes money earned during the marriage and assets or items purchased with that money. Items that many may not realize are marital property include pension plans, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and tax returns.
  • What are the tax consequences? Any future tax bills must be factored into all settlement offers. An offer that seems fair on its face may not be so equitable when taxes are considered. Tax consequences must especially be considered when it comes to alimony payments, which are usually considered taxable income to the recipient and a tax deduction for the payor.
  • How can we split our retirement savings? Depending on the type of retirement account, transfers can either be straightforward or complex. IRAs can usually be handled by the divorcing spouses and addressed within the divorce decree, while splitting 401(k)s and pension plans can be more complicated. Early and well-informed action in this area can provide huge financial benefits.
  • Should I keep the house? While many people who divorce later in life feel strongly about keeping their home, it may not be a wise financial move, especially if they forgo other assets in the negotiating process to do so. Sometimes, it is more beneficial and financially wise to sell the home and split the profits.
  • Will I still be insured? In the past, many couples may have actually avoided divorce for fear of being denied individual health coverage. Now, new laws like the Affordable Care Act should help to relieve some of those concerns, as well as marketplace or COBRA coverage under an ex-spouse’s employer health plan.
  • How should my estate plan change? Couples divorcing later in life are advised to change all of their estate planning documents as soon as they make the decision to divorce, in order to best improve their chances of protecting their property and preserving their final wishes.
Divorce Attorney If you are considering divorce, the experienced attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC can help you. Please feel free to contact us today for a consultation. Our offices are located in Wheaton, Warrenville, and Chicago.
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