The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Geneva marital property division attorney

Divorce is not a simple process, even if you and your spouse are on good terms with one another. There are many issues you have to think about, from dividing assets to allocating parenting time to ensuring you receive the right amount of child support. When it comes to splitting up your marital assets, both spouses are required to give full disclosure about their assets and debts. However, there are several important issues that are often overlooked or forgotten when it comes to dividing marital property. 

Marital Property Division

When it comes time to create a list of your assets and debts, you probably have a good idea of what should be included. Assets include things such as bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, and other items of value. Debts include money that is owed on mortgages, auto loans, school loans, or credit cards. However, many people often overlook assets that are not as prominent as others.

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DuPage County asset and property division attorney

Engagement rings are common in today’s society for couples who plan to get married, but they have not always been. The first engagement ring was given in the 1400s, but they did not become popular in the United States until the 1940s when the De Beers Company launched the famous “Diamonds are forever,” campaign. Now, many couples see purchasing an engagement ring as an investment, with the average cost of an engagement ring in the United States being somewhere around $6,324, according to Business Insider. In the state of Illinois, the average cost of an engagement ring is a little higher at $7,110. Along with the wedding band, these can be highly sought items when the property is divided in an Illinois divorce.

Marital and Non-Marital Property

When it comes to property division, Illinois recognizes that there is a difference between marital and non-marital property. Only marital property is subject to division in a divorce. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), all property that is acquired by each spouse during the marriage is considered to be marital property. However, there are exceptions to that rule. For example, property that is obtained by either spouse through “gift, legacy, or descent” or property acquired in exchange for such property is considered to be non-marital property and therefore not subject to division.

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Geneva dissipation of assets attorney

When a married couple plans on getting divorced, the last thing they may feel like doing is cooperating with each other. Even though they might not be on the best of terms, communicating and working together may be the best tactic to take for everyone involved. Even Illinois courts urge couples to try to work together with their attorneys to make decisions about their divorce. If a couple is unwilling or unable to compromise or come to a resolution, the court will have to intervene and make decisions for the couple based on Illinois law. Asset division can be tricky, and the exact laws that apply to this situation might be different from what most people think.

The Division of Assets Is Not Always 50/50

Many people think that the asset division process is simple and that each spouse will get exactly half of everything they own together. While this may be true in some states, Illinois practices what is called “equitable division.” This means that each spouse will receive a portion of the marital estate that is considered fair and just. To achieve an equitable division, the judge will look at a variety of factors to determine what each spouse should receive. Some of these factors include each spouse's income-earning potential and whether or not one parent gave up a career to stay home and raise children. In addition, the parent who is allocated the majority of the parental responsibilities may receive the marital home, since the children will reside there most of the time.  

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,The process of allocating assets during a divorce is often one of the most contentious issues between couples. The state of Illinois practices equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, rather than equal distribution. This means that there is nothing saying a judge has to assign half of the marital estate to each spouse -- one spouse could end up walking away from the divorce with more money or more debt. Because of this, some spouses may be tempted to cover up assets so they may keep them for themselves. Illinois courts strongly recommend that couples try to come to an agreement on property distribution on their own, but this is not always possible, especially if both spouses are not willing to be truthful with each other.

This is often the step of the divorce process in which “discovery” comes into play. Discovery is the exchange of information between the two spouses and their attorneys. During this step, both spouses are required by law to be fully and completely transparent about the issue at hand. This means each spouse must disclose any and all assets, including both marital and non-marital assets.

The Role of a Forensic Accountant

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,There are many reasons why couples get divorced. Infidelity, financial problems, lack of commitment and different priorities are all common reasons why couples choose to get divorced, but they all typically contain one major common theme -- a lack of trust. When you no longer trust the person you are married to, it is difficult to have a successful marriage. During a divorce, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to have assets that they have attempted to hide from the other. While this may seem like a good way to keep your spouse from getting certain things in a divorce, it is illegal. Full disclosure is required in divorces. If you feel like your spouse may be hiding things from you, here are a few ways you can try to uncover hidden assets in your divorce: Look Over Tax Returns A good place to start looking for hidden assets is on your tax returns. Pull your tax returns from the last five years and examine them carefully. You should be looking for any inconsistencies in the returns, such as inconsistencies in income, itemizations of assets, real estate taxes, mortgage interest. Keep an Eye on Your Bank Accounts Take a look at your joint bank accounts. Are there any canceled checks from your checking account? Are there unusual withdrawals or deposits into your checking or savings accounts? If so, you may be dealing with a spouse who has attempted to hide money from you. Make sure you get copies of all bank account statements to use in court. Utilize Public Records

Public records can be extremely helpful when you are looking for hidden assets. Some jurisdictions allow you to access certain public records online, but all jurisdictions have public records on hand at the courthouse. When looking through public records, you should focus your attention on:

  • Property deeds;
  • Real estate appraisals;
  • Tax assessments;
  • Loan applications; and
  • Business records.
Team Up With a DuPage County Asset Discovery Attorney

One of the most difficult parts of a divorce is the asset division process -- especially if you are dealing with a spouse who has attempted to hide his or her assets. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we know that dealing with hidden assets is a difficult task. Our skilled Aurora, IL asset discovery lawyers will help you find any assets that your spouse may be hiding from you through teamwork with forensic accountants and other experts. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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