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Kendall County Prenuptial Agreement AttorneyWhen you finally get engaged to the person of your dreams, it can feel like you are living in a fairytale. The last thing you would want to think about is what would happen if you and your spouse were to call it quits, but the time during your engagement is the perfect time to do just that. Many spouses come to the conclusion that a prenuptial agreement is a good and fair option to allow both spouses to protect their assets coming into the marriage. While a prenuptial agreement will not eliminate conflict from a divorce entirely, it can greatly reduce the amount of tension and disagreement surrounding certain issues. Here are a few reasons why you should consider getting a prenuptial agreement before you get married:

  1. You Can Designate How Specific Assets Will Be Handled

The main and most basic feature of a prenuptial agreement is your ability to state how you want your assets and debts to be distributed during your divorce. If you and your spouse take your divorce to court, the judge is going to follow Illinois law and use the factors outlined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) and distribute your assets and debts in an “equitable manner.” In your prenuptial agreement, you can choose how you want to distribute your debts and assets. You can also clearly state which property is marital property and which property is nonmarital property and not subject to division.

  1. You Can Protect Your Business

If you own a business before you get married, getting a prenuptial agreement can be extremely beneficial. While Illinois law states that your business would be considered nonmarital property if you owned it prior to the marriage, any profit you make from the business, or income you earn from the business and contribute to the household becomes marital property. A prenuptial agreement can ensure your business and its growth are protected from the asset division process.

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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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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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North Aurora divorce attorney asset division

When it comes to divorce, there are many different topics that must be covered to complete the process. One of the most important topics is the asset and property division process, which is notorious for being stressful for some couples. During the division process, you and your spouse will have to determine how you will divide everything from the value of your home, the money in your retirement accounts, all the way down to the vehicles in your garage. Dividing your assets is an important process, which is why legal guidance from an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer can be beneficial.

Factors to Consider

Before you get down to business about how to divide your vehicles, you should be sure to consider all relevant information. These factors can include:

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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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b2ap3_thumbnail_Aurora-divorce-lawyer.jpg-min.jpgGetting a divorce involves dividing up almost everything you and your spouse own together, and the family home is no exception. For many couples, dealing with the family home is a point of contention, because it is often one of the most valuable marital assets to be divided. When you and your ex-spouse must figure out what to do with your home, there are typically three solutions that you could pursue: sell the home and split the profits, continue co-owning the home together, or have one spouse keep the home. There are many situations in which one spouse will want to continue living in the family home, especially if there are children involved. If you have come to the conclusion that you want to keep your home, you must then figure out how that can be accomplished. The following are a few steps you should take if you want to keep your house after your divorce in Illinois:

Figure Out What the Home Is Worth

Before you decide on anything, you have to figure out the value of your home and how much you will need to perform a buyout. First, you and your spouse should come up with a figure that you both can agree on as far as how much the house is worth. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a figure, you should hire a property appraiser to determine the home’s value.

Next, you will have to determine each spouse’s share of equity in the home. To do this, you would take the home’s value and subtract how much is still owed on the home. The resulting figure is the amount of equity you have in the home. Then, you will have to decide how much of that equity each spouse owns. In Illinois, property is divided in an equitable manner, meaning you do not necessarily each has a 50/50 share in the equity of the home, but your share should be fair.

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Aurora property division lawyerAs much as it is an emotional process, a divorce is also a legal process that is meant to separate you and your spouse from having anything lawfully in common. Like any legal proceeding, this can take time to complete, especially when it comes to the division of your assets. This is typically a point of contention between spouses when getting a divorce. When you are married, you and your spouse may have accumulated a lot of property together, but asset division deals with much more than just physical property. You must also divide things such as retirement funds, bank accounts, life insurance, and even any debts you and your spouse owe. The state of Illinois has a specific process for doing this, and it is important that you understand how your assets will be divided in the event a judge must intervene.

Distinguishing Between Marital and Non-Marital Property

In Illinois, only marital property and marital debt are subject to division. Marital property is any property, assets, or debts that were obtained during the marriage, except for the following:

  • Property given as a gift or that was inherited

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,When you are married for a long period of time -- even if it is just for a few years -- you are bound to have many shared assets that you have accumulated over time. Dividing your assets during a divorce can be messy and complicated, especially if both of you want the same things. Illinois courts prefer for couples to try to divide up their assets on their own before the responsibility goes to a judge, but sometimes a judge is very much needed to settle disputes. When they say everything must be split up, they mean everything -- even unusual assets that you may not think about much.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

Before you can divide anything in your marriage, you must first determine what property must be divided. In Illinois, only marital property is subject to division. Non-marital property remains with the spouse whose property it is. Marital property is any property, including debts and other types of obligations, that either spouse acquires during the marriage. The exception to that rule is non-marital property, which includes:

  • Property acquired by gift, descent or legacy;
  • Property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage;
  • Property acquired by a spouse after a legal judgment of separation; and
  • Property excluded by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Physical Property

Property that is a real object and can be touched is physical property, which is probably what you think of when you think of property division. Physical property that is subject to division can include:

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Posted on in Divorce
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,When you are going through a divorce, it can be a confusing process, especially because of all the words and legal terms that are used in divorce proceedings and paperwork. Understanding all of the legal jargon that is used during this process is crucial to you reaching a divorce settlement that you are satisfied with. Even some words that have normal meanings can have different meanings when used in a legal setting, which is why it is important that you educate yourself on specific words and phrases used in Illinois divorce proceedings. Marital Property: The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that marital property is all property, including debts, that is acquired by either spouse during the marriage.

Non-Marital Property: The Act also states that there are exceptions to marital property, which is called non-marital property. Examples of non-marital property include:

  • Property acquired by gift, legacy or descent;
  • Property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage;
  • Anything acquired by either spouse after a legal separation; and
  • Property excluded in a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement.
Parenting Responsibilities: In Illinois, the term “custody” is no longer used. Instead, parenting responsibilities means both parenting time and important decision-making responsibilities when it comes to a child. Parenting Time: This refers to the time when a parent is responsible for taking care of the child and making non-significant decisions regarding the child.

Parenting Plan: This is a written agreement between parents that allocates and specifies certain things concerning their child. Things that can be covered in a parenting plan include:

  • Parenting time;
  • Decision-making responsibilities;
  • Living arrangements;
  • Schooling; and
  • Child support, if applicable.
Relocation: The term relocation is used when a parent moves a child from their current residence to a new residence. Spousal Maintenance: In Illinois, the term “alimony” has been replaced with spousal maintenance. This is the term used for any sort of payment that is paid from one spouse to another after a divorce depending on each spouse’s financial situation and needs. Get Representation from a Kendall County Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be confusing, but it does not have to be. With the help of a well-versed Aurora divorce attorney, you can understand and be fully involved in your divorce. When you choose to be represented by an attorney from the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., you can rest easy knowing your divorce case is in good hands. Call the office at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Nobody prepares for divorce when they are engaged, but according to a survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, that is exactly what people are doing. Of the members surveyed, 62 percent saw an increase in the number of couples seeking prenuptial agreements over the past three years. Increasing Popularity, Losing Stigma One reason why prenuptial agreements are becoming more common is due to the trend in marriage - more people are waiting until they are older to get married. According to a U.S. Census report, about 8 in 10 people had married by age 30 in the 1970s, but in 2016, the same percentage was not reached until age 45. Because people are waiting longer to get married, they are more likely to have accumulated assets, such as a business or property. A prenuptial agreement is a way for couples to protect these assets in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial Agreements May Be for You

While prenuptial agreements still might ring unromantic for some, they can be right for others. Here are seven situations in which a prenuptial agreement might be right for you.

  1. When important assets are involved - When you have assets such as a house, stocks or retirement funds, a prenuptial agreement can protect your personal assets.
  2. When children from previous marriages are involved - Many times people have obligations to their previous spouses or children from a previous relationship. Prenuptial agreements can protect certain assets and allocate them to the children.
  3. When one partner owns a business - If you own a business and you end up getting a divorce, part of your business may be allocated to your spouse, meaning you may end up with an unwanted partner in your business.
  4. When one partner is much wealthier than the other - When there is a major income difference in partners, things can often turn out not in the favor of the wealthier partner.
  5. When one partner is much older than the other - If one partner is much older than the other, the older partner may not be able to recover their assets in time for retirement.
  6. When debts are involved - When one or both partners have debt going into a marriage, having a prenuptial agreement can ensure that each partner pays for his or her own debt when the marriage is dissolved.
  7. When inheritance is expected - If one or both partners expect to gain an inheritance during their marriage, a prenuptial agreement can prevent it from being divided in the case of a separation. A prenuptial agreement can also specify that family heirlooms stay with a specific partner.
Contact an Illinois Prenuptial Attorney If you think that a prenuptial agreement is right for you, you need the help of an experienced Illinois prenuptial attorney to take care of the details. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams can provide you with guidance and nearly 10 years of expertise. Call 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/why-youre-more-likely-to-have-a-prenup-than-your-parents-were/2017/08/04/51361598-77d8-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html?utm_term=.4744c5cea865

http://aaml.org/sites/default/files/New%20vow%20%E2%80%99Til%20prenup%20do%20us%20part.pdf

Posted on in Divorce

Intellectual Property and Divorce, divorce, intellectual property, marital property, asset division, DuPage County Divorce LawyersFor entrepreneurial and inventive spouses considerations for divorce do not conclude with decisions regarding income to be calculated for child support or who inherits a spouse’s business debt. An often neglected, but uniformly important consideration is the topic of intellectual property

How is Intellectual Property Treated in Divorce

Intellectual Property is also called IP for short. It refers to the litany of legal rights that attach to an expressed idea. Put another way intellectual property is the legal defense of your mental work. Intellectual property can include copyrights, trademarks, or trade secrets.

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Property Division in Divorce , divorce, property division, family law, child support, marital assetsGoing through a divorce is a complex issue both legally and emotionally. Many contentious issues must be decided on including, child custody, child support, and property division. When a house is part of the property that needs to be divided the tenants of divorce law are used to determine how the home or the home's value is shared between the spouses. It takes an experienced and insightful DuPage County divorce lawyer to navigate this treacherous legal terrain successfully.

Equitable Division

Illinois law controls how real property is divided in a divorce. Illinois is an "equitable division state." That means that the law does not require that marital assets be divided equally among divorcing spouses. Instead, the law requires that property is distributed equitably. Judges rely on several variables to determine what an equitable division of property is, however, Illinois courts are forbidden to consider marital misconduct for property division. Instead, judges are instructed to consider:

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property, DuPage County divorce attorneyWhen a couple gets divorced, one of the most contentious aspects of the process involves the identification and division of marital property. For many couples, the marital estate is a physical representation of their life together, making it very difficult for the parties to reach a reasonable resolution.

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement regarding your property, the issue will be left to the court to decide. Such a situation leads many to assume that the court will simply divide the marital estate into equal halves, and allocate 50 percent of the marital property to one spouse and 50 percent to the other. According to Illinois law, however, this is not exactly the case.

Equitable Distribution

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marital property, DuPage County divorce attorneyDuring a divorce, questions often abound regarding which of the spouses’ assets will be considered marital property and, therefore, subject to division. As with most aspects of divorce, the law itself is relatively straightforward but its real-world application is often very complex. If you are considering a divorce, you should know what the law says and how it applies to your particular case.

Legal Definitions

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) contains virtually all of the statutory provisions that govern the process of divorce in the state. The IMDMA specifies that, for the purposes of a divorce, marital property refers to “all property, including debts and other obligation, acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage,” with certain exceptions. These exceptions include:

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equitable distribution, Aurora divorce attorneyFor those who have never experienced divorce, there are often many myths and misconceptions that surround the process. One of the most common of these is the idea that when a couple gets divorced, each spouse is entitled to half of the couple’s property, regardless of where, when, or how the property was acquired. In Illinois, the reality is much different, as state law is very specific about what property is subject to division and that marital property is to be divided equitably, not necessarily equally.

Marital and Non-Marital Property

The first step in equitably dividing marital property in a divorce is determining what, exactly, is marital property. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, any property that is acquired by either spouse in the course of the marriage is considered marital property. There are limited exceptions to this rule, as assets acquired by gift or inheritance are considered non-marital property. Once the marital estate has been established, the value of each marital and non-martial asset must be determined so that the next stage of the process can begin.

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prenuptial agreement, Illinois family lawyerAs more and more couples wait longer to enter into marriage for the first time, along with the rising prevalence of remarriage, individuals have more time than ever to accumulate wealth and property on their own. Extensive personal assets, of course, can make a subsequent divorce much more complicated, as it may difficult to differentiate between marital and non-marital property. For just reason, those who have started a business or obtained ownership of a company prior to marriage are encouraged to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

While the law in Illinois already provides that property or assets acquired prior to a marriage are not considered marital property, complications can still arise. For example, if your spouse owned a company before you got married, the company itself may not be part of the marital estate, but income generated by your spouse’s efforts after the marriage are usually considered to be marital. Similarly, any marital property invested into the company during your marriage may need to be reimbursed to the estate in the event of divorce, even as the company ownership remains non-marital.

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equitable distribution, Illinois law, DuPage County family law attorneyEveryone knows that when you get divorced, your ex-spouse gets half of everything—unless you have a prenuptial agreement. That is just the way it works, right? Well, not exactly. Not in Illinois anyway, along with about 40 other states. The idea of an equal 50-50 split applies only to the nine states that maintain a standard known as community property in divorce. The remaining states, including Illinois, use what is called an equitable distribution standard, which may vary slightly from state to state, but generally requires a more in-depth consideration of a divorcing couple’s property and circumstances.

Determining and Valuing the Marital Estate

The equitable distribution guidelines in Illinois are contained in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The process begins with establishing which assets belong to the couple and which belong to each individual spouse. Those that belong to the couple include all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage with limited exceptions for gifts, inheritances, and judgments. Assets owned by either spouse prior to the marriage, along with the exceptions to marital property, are non-marital property and not subject to division. The value of the marital estate must also be determined, which may require the assistance of various experts, including real estate appraisers, financial advisors, and other professionals.

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marital property, Illinois law, Aurora divorce lawyerDivorce can present a whole host of challenges for a couple who is unprepared for the process. Even those who have planned ahead may still experience a wide range of difficulties, as the proceedings can be stressful, confusing, and, at times, overwhelming. For many couples, negotiating an agreement regarding the allocation of marital property can be particularly tough. While a qualified family law attorney can help you reach an equitable arrangement, it is important to understand a number of considerations contained in the law regarding asset division.

Establishing the Marital Estate

A generation or two ago, the average age of individuals getting married was significantly lower. Young couples were more likely to build their entire lives together, thus the determination of marital property was pretty straightforward. Nearly everything the couple had acquired in their adult lives was subject to division in divorce. Today, couples are waiting longer to get married, and many more are entering second or third marriages, making it increasingly difficult to draw the line between marital and non-marital property.

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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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