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Wheaton divorce lawyersThe division of assets can be one of the biggest sources of contention in an Illinois divorce. Part of the reasoning for this can be attributed to the term “equitable distribution,” which essentially means that each party is entitled to their “fair share” of the marital estate. What is your fair share, and how can you ensure you get it during your divorce? The following explains. 

Determining Your “Fair Share” in an Illinois Divorce 

Nothing in life is fair - especially not divorce. Yet, this is the terms that courts use when dividing assets in an Illinois divorce. What might your fair share look like? A few factors are used in reaching this determination, including: 

  • The overall value of your marital estate;
  • Your capacity to earn an income;
  • Your spouse’s capacity to earn an income;
  • Any involved children (and their needs);
  • Non-marital assets that may improve your living standard;
  • Which assets may be held by either party after the divorce; and
  • Any limitations that may hinder a party’s ability to earn a living. 

Essentially, the courts want to do what they can to ensure that you and your spouse are nearly equal in assets and income, once the divorce has ended. Achieving this lofty goal can be quite difficult, however, especially if there are hidden assets or deceptive practices involved. 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysOf all the issues that one may deal with during the divorce, those related to money tend to be the most sensitive and volatile. That is because, in this arena, mistakes can be costly, and they often have a lasting, negative impact. Thankfully, by avoiding these four commonly made money mistakes, parties can decrease their risk of experiencing significant financial loss in a divorce while also increasing their chances of receiving the divorce settlement to which they are entitled. 

Oversharing Details About Your Personal Life and Finances 

While the law does require you to provide financial disclosure to your spouse during the discovery process of your divorce, there is such a thing as oversharing. Examples of information that you may want to keep private include: 

  • An inheritance received after separating from your spouse;
  • Vacations or vacation plans that take place after the separation;
  • Information regarding spending habits or recent large purchases (even when done out of necessity);
  • Raises and promotions that are given to you after the separation; and
  • Any other windfall that occurs after you and your spouse have separated. 

Note that this information should not be shared anywhere - not even on social media, as even this information can be used as evidence in a divorce. Remember to still disclose this information to your attorney, as they can help you determine which assets may be excluded from the marital estate. 

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DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyers, prenuptial agreementMany people are under the mistaken impression that prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are only for people who enter into a marriage with significant personal assets, or who stand to inherit substantial assets at a later date. While it certainly is the case that wealthy people often use prenuptial agreements to protect assets in the event of a divorce, these types of agreements can also greatly benefit people who may have more modest means. For this reason, it is very important for anyone considering getting married to discuss how a prenuptial agreement may be able to help them with an experienced lawyer.

How can prenups be beneficial? Future spouses will find that a prenuptial agreement can provide a host of different benefits.

Help avoid costly disputes in the event your marriage ends in divorce. Divorce can result in significant disputes regarding the way in which assets will be divided and whether either party will be entitled to maintenance (alimony). In the absence of an agreement, Illinois law controls the division of assets and maintenance, which may result in an arrangement that is not to your liking. In many cases, litigating these issues or even resolving them through alternative dispute resolution techniques can be extremely time-consuming and costly. By agreeing to the way these matters will be resolved via a prenup, both parties can save the expense of a dispute in the event of divorce.

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