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


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Uncommon Assets That You May Need to Divide in Your Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Division of Property

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:

  • Pets: In Illinois, pets are now treated more like children than they are property, but there must still be a determination on who they live with after a divorce. If it is contested, the judge will make the decision on who to place the pet with based on what would be best for everyone involved;
  • Collections: Collections can have quite a bit of value to them, depending on what the collection consists of. Things such as comic books, coins, stamps, books, and art can have some real value to them and can be used as a negotiating piece if needed; and
  • Photos or Other Keepsakes: These items are invaluable. Even though many items like photos and videos can be kept digitally, there is something to be said about the originals.

Intangible Property

These items can often be overlooked because they are not physical items, but they are very real. These items can include:

  • Intellectual Property: If you or your spouse has trademarks, patents, copyrights, or other types of intellectual property, these can be worth real money, especially if royalty payments are involved;
  • Rewards Points or Frequent Flyer Miles: Though these are not technically tangible assets, they can be used to purchase tangible assets. You can either fight to keep these points or use them as leverage for assets you really want.

A Knowledgeable DuPage County Property Division Attorney Can Help

You never actually realize how much stuff you have until you have to take inventory of everything so you can divvy it up. A knowledgeable Aurora, IL property division lawyer can help you make sure you are getting your fair share of your marital estate. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., Attorney Williams has more than a decade of experience working in family law and negotiating favorable property division settlements. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.


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


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

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