For couples going through a divorce in Will County, Illinois, it is essential to base property division on the true value of the assets. The best course of action to ensure an equitable distribution is to hire an experienced property division attorney to assist in these matters. These legal professionals will work with other specialists such as financial analysts, accountants, and real estate appraisers to determine the appropriate value for a couple’s marital assets.
In Illinois, any property that a couple acquires during their marriage must be distributed equitably, as it is considered to be owned by each party. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the courts must consider several factors to determine fair division, including the following.
The court may also consider any other relevant information that will help determine an equitable and just decision. A reputable family lawyer will assist in the process by gathering every bit of evidence that contributes to the true value of the assets, in addition to examining appraisal data and reviewing ledgers.
Depending on where you live in the US, you are subject to one of two ways of dividing property in a divorce. One method is known as “community property,” which means that marital assets are assigned a value and divided right down the middle. The other is referred to as “equitable division,” meaning the property division is not always evenly split but aims to be fair.
Since Illinois adheres to equitable division, couples typically don’t split their assets 50/50. Instead, the court determines a fair distribution based on certain criteria, such as:
Since Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, marital misconduct, such as infidelity, is not a factor the courts consider. The divorce process requires the spouses to list personal property, houses, investments, retirement funds, bank accounts, cars, and other assets. Marital property essentially includes anything purchased (not a gift) after the marriage began. These items are all subject to division.
Any legal agreement made before or after the marriage, such as a prenup or a postnup, is enforceable when a couple divorces. The purpose of these agreements is to lay out what should happen to assets in the event of a divorce. Reasons for creating these contracts may include:
No matter the reason for the agreement, any valid prenuptial agreement will be used to distribute assets during a divorce. The only cases for throwing out prenuptial agreements are those in which a party entered into a prenup that is found to be “unconscionable.” This usually means the individual wasn’t given full disclosure of their spouse’s assets when they signed it.
The term “marital property” is used because there are assets that don’t fall into this category and thus are not subject to division in a divorce. Most assets that married couples acquire during their marriage are considered to be marital property because they are purchased with commingled funds. This typically doesn’t include gifts or inheritances, except in certain scenarios, such as inherited money that a spouse uses to pay for joint expenses or deposits into a joint bank account.
Property division becomes complicated for various reasons. For example, even if a title or lease isn’t in both spouses’ names, it can still be marital property. In Illinois, non-marital property is considered to be:
Couples facing divorce often neglect to consider the way property distribution may affect their taxes. A Will County property division lawyer can advise clients on potential financial hardships from large assets awards, such as unexpectedly large tax bills. It is essential to understand any potential tax consequences of asset division, as it may affect one’s ability to maintain their home and lifestyle after the divorce.
At Vahey & Betouni, we understand that going through a divorce is one of the most difficult times in a person’s life, and we handle every client with care. Our experienced team knows that marital property division affects an individual’s potential to lead the life they desire after a divorce. We aim to ensure that every case is handled fairly and equitably. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you.