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

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

Batavia divorce attorney asset division

One of the biggest areas of concern for couples during a divorce is the asset division process. Many people have questions about how their property will be divided upon divorce, especially as it pertains to expensive assets such as a home or a small business. Like most states, Illinois only considers the property that each spouse acquired during the marriage to be the property that is subject to division during divorce. In most cases, determining what is marital and nonmarital property is fairly cut-and-dried; however, there are situations in which nonmarital property can lose its individual identity. 

Distinguishing Between Marital and Nonmarital Property

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) states that only marital property is subject to division during divorce. Marital property includes any assets or debts that either spouse acquired during the marriage, with a few exceptions. These exceptions include:

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Oswego divorce attorney asset division

When you and your spouse were first married, you made vows to always be faithful to one another. It can be extremely difficult to learn that your spouse has been deceptive about certain things, even if they were about topics such as finances. In a previous blog, we discussed the indicators of potential hidden assets and the importance of uncovering them for the sake of the marital estate. Uncovering hidden assets can be difficult work if you are not trained in doing so, which is why you should seek help from a professional if you suspect your spouse has not been completely truthful. Forensic accountants are professionals who are trained to look for things like hidden assets when collaborating on a divorce case and can be instrumental in helping you ensure you get your fair share of the marital estate.

Your Forensic Accountant at Work

In a contested divorce, before any decisions are made about property, assets, or debts, both parties will go through what is called “discovery.” This is simply the process of exchanging information between both parties and their lawyers prior to beginning negotiations. If you have a forensic accountant on your team, he or she will take the information given to you by your spouse and look over it with a fine-toothed comb.

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North Aurora divorce attorney asset division

As society has changed and evolved, so has the divorce landscape changed drastically over the years. In decades prior, it was not unusual at all for a divorcing couple to hash out their issues in a courtroom. Now, divorce negotiations are usually cooperation-based and typically take place outside of the courtroom, often in a lawyer’s office. However, there are still couples who will not be able to work with one another on simple tasks, such as asset division. In Illinois, asset division is done in an equitable manner, meaning both spouses are to receive a portion of the marital property that is determined to be fair and equitable. However, a fair determination of assets requires full cooperation on the part of both partners during the discovery process.

What Is the Discovery Process?

In most divorces, both spouses will be upfront and forthcoming with their financial information and will readily hand over whatever is needed to get the process completed. However, some spouses will still try to withhold information or hide assets to keep them from being divided in the divorce. If a couple’s divorce is contested, it is likely that the attorney will use the discovery stage of the divorce to gather all of the financial information needed to negotiate a settlement.

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North Aurora divorce attorney property division

When you and your spouse reach the point where you are ready to begin allocating property among yourselves, one of the first things you will have to do is determine what is and is not subject to division during your divorce. When a couple goes through a divorce in the state of Illinois, their assets are divided into two categories: marital and non-marital property. Marital property is the only type of property subject to division and consists of any property you or your spouse acquire during the marriage, with a few exceptions. One such exception is for gifts, which can be considered both marital and non-marital property, depending on the circumstances of the situation.

Gifts as Marital Property

Most of the time, the items that you receive as gifts during your marriage will be considered non-marital property. However, there may be circumstances in which your spouse will argue that the gift should be considered marital property and therefore subject to division with your other assets. Here are a few common examples of how gifts can be considered marital property during your divorce:

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Geneva divorce attorney property division

In an ideal world, getting a divorce would only affect you and your spouse. However, getting a divorce impacts everyone in your family, especially your children if you have any. Throughout your divorce, you will face many issues relating to your kids that must be settled, such as parenting time, allocation of decision-making responsibilities, and even child support. What you may not realize is that your children may also influence other areas of your divorce as well, such as property division. If you are going through a divorce, an Illinois divorce lawyer can help you determine your best scenario for asset and property division.

Considering Your Kids’ Feelings When Dividing Assets and Property

When you go through a divorce, you and your spouse are required to divide all marital property equitably among yourselves before you are able to finalize the divorce. While you may think that your children have nothing to do with those decisions, they may influence those decisions more than you think. Here are a few ways your children can influence your property division decisions:

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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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