Preparing for Property Division

 Posted on October 21, 2013 in Property Division

Hearing that your spouse has filed for divorce can be devastating.  The life that you have built together is changing and that’s scary.  But do not let the news take you away from dealing with the divorce proactively.  As you have spent time with your spouse amassing assets, make sure to account for everything that needs to be separated.  Having the proper setup for the process of property division can affect your financial future.

The first step is to take an inventory of the marital assets that are subject to property division.  Marital assets includes all property that was acquired during the marriage.  Certain restrictions include gifts to one spouse, property acquired by those gifts, and property excluded from the marital estate.  A good way to take stock of your assets is by collecting financial paperwork like paycheck stubs, tax returns, loan or mortgage paperwork and bank statements that will establish your net worth as a married couple.

Property Division

It is also a good idea to think of assets other than homes, cars and bank accounts.  Make sure to include commonly overlooked items such as:

  • Collectible items and memorabilia
  • Capital loss carryover
  • Cemetery plots
  • Memberships to Country Clubs, Gyms, etc.
  • Pets
  • College Tuition
  • Family photos and heirlooms
  • Tax refunds
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Money loaned to others

All of these examples have monetary or sentimental value, so be sure to include these in your marital property list.  Also remember to include debts in your list because those are also split during the division of property.

Illinois is an equitable division state when considering how to divide property in court.  Unlike a 50/50 split for community property states, Illinois will look at certain individual factors when splitting assets.  Certain factors that are considered in a court’s ruling include income, length of the marriage, and the earning potential for each spouse.  If you are concerned with getting what you are entitled to in your divorce, then contact an experienced family law attorney in Geneva today.

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