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

aurora divorce lawyerThe marital home is often the most valuable asset a couple shares. Often, a couple lives there with their children for many years. It is in the marital home that a family experiences some of their most important moments together. 

But in a divorce, a couple’s assets must be divided and this includes the home. If you are considering a divorce, you may be wondering what happens to the home and whether one spouse will get to keep it. In this article, we will answer some of the common questions about what happens to the marital home in a divorce. Keep in mind that an experienced divorce attorney is the best source for answers to your questions. 

If I Move Out, Do I Lose Access to My House Forever? 

Ownership of the house is not permanently decided until a divorce is final. Even though one spouse will likely want to move out in order to avoid conflict during divorce proceedings, moving out will not affect a spouse’s right to their portion of the home’s value. 

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Aurora divorce lawyer assisting with Hidden AssetsWhen you file for divorce in Illinois, you are required to disclose all of your assets. However, some people may feel that they deserve a bigger share than their spouse, so they attempt to conceal their assets. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make during the divorce process. If you get caught, you may face legal trouble.

Different Ways Spouses Hide Assets

The division of assets is one of the most difficult battles couples face in divorce court. When people believe that they deserve more than they will actually get, they may try to conceal the assets in several different ways, such as:

  • Pursuing shady business deals - Some individuals who are getting ready to divorce may enlist the help of business partners to conceal their assets. For example, a person may ask a business partner to withhold commissions until the divorce is finalized.

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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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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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