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2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Top Chicago Area Divorce Lawyers
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IL divorce lawyerIf you were to ask a divorcing homeowner what their most valuable asset is, it is very likely that they would say it is their home. Not only are houses often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they also usually carry some sort of sentimental value to the people who live in them. Many people have an emotional connection to their family home, especially when they have lived there for years, raised their children in that home, and made so many warm memories there. Unfortunately, you cannot simply just cut a home in half when you get a divorce. One of the biggest arguments that can arise from divorce is determining who gets to claim ownership of the house.

Equitable Division in Illinois

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), all marital property in Illinois is divided in an equitable manner between the spouses. Marital property is considered to be anything that you or your spouse acquired while you were married but before a legal separation. Certain property is excluded from marital property, however. This includes gifts, property acquired by inheritance or legacy, property excluded from the marital estate through a valid prenup or postnup, and any property that was acquired by either spouse before the marriage.

Dividing Your Home’s Value

In most cases, there are typically only three different situations that can come out of this: you can either continue to co-own the home in the same manner, the spouse who wants the home can “buy out” the other spouse for their half of the home, or you can sell the home and split any proceeds you have from the sale:

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Cook County divorce attorney asset division

During a divorce, spouses are expected to disclose truthful information about their assets, liabilities, expenses, and income. However, some spouses lie about their financial situation in an attempt to gain an advantage during a divorce. If you are thinking of divorce and your spouse owns a business, it is important to know what you are entitled to in the divorce. It is also crucial that you are aware of the ways that some business owners hide assets or falsify financial information in order to manipulate property distribution.

Underreporting Business Revenue and Undervaluing Business Assets

Spouses who want to manipulate the divorce settlement may use their business to hide assets and income. Typically, this is accomplished by undervaluing the business or reporting lower-than-actual business revenue. A business owner may temporarily lower business revenue or assets by:

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Hinsdale asset and property division attorney

One of the most contentious parts of the divorce process is often the division of marital property. Divorcing couples have the option of dividing property on their own, but couples who cannot reach an agreement will require court intervention. Illinois courts divide marital assets and debts according to “equitable distribution.” Unlike other states that divide the marital estate exactly in half, Illinois instead considers a variety of factors to determine an asset division arrangement that is fair and reasonable for both spouses. If a couple has a high net worth or owns complex assets, the property division process can become especially complicated.

Differentiating Between Separate and Marital Property is Not Always Straightforward

Only marital property is divided during an Illinois divorce. Marital property generally includes property obtained by either spouse during the marriage. Separate property typically includes any assets or debts that the spouses acquired before the marriage took place as well as certain gifts and inheritances acquired throughout the union. Differentiating between separate and marital property is not always as easy as it may seem. Assets that are commingled can lose their identity and be transmuted from separate property to marital property. For example, if a spouse receives an inheritance from a relative during the marriage, those funds are typically considered separate property. However, if the spouse uses some of those funds to pay for shared expenses during the marriage, the funds may be transmuted into marital property.  

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Western Springs prenuptial agreement attorney

Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups” for short, have long been the subject of misinformation and misunderstanding. Outrageous celebrity weddings, television shows, and movies have shown prenuptial agreements in an unfairly negative light. However, signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married can be a responsible and beneficial decision for many couples. Read on to learn how a prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement can benefit you and your partner in Illinois.  

A Prenuptial Agreement Protects Your Financial Interests

The main benefit of a prenuptial agreement is that it protects the financial interests of both parties should the marriage end in divorce. In Illinois, a divorcing couple’s marital estate is divided according to equitable distribution laws. Through equitable distribution, property and debts are divided fairly, but not necessarily evenly. If you and your soon-to-be spouse sign a prenuptial agreement, you have the option to make your own property division decisions in advance and override these state laws during a divorce.

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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