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Geneva divorce attorneysThere are a great many things to consider when a couple decides to get divorced. In addition to dealing with the emotional turmoil of ending their marriage, they also have to face decisions regarding logistics like property division. If you have been considering divorce, you may have wondered to yourself “Who will get to continue living in the house?” or “Who will get the antique furniture?”

Determining Who Will Get What

In many marriages, spouses have brought assets into the marriage that were valuable either financially or sentimentally. They worry that the court will assign such assets to their spouse. In other cases, a spouse may not have worked because they stayed home to raise children. He or she may wonder if this will affect the way property is divided. The law regarding property division in Illinois can be complicated, but there are guidelines that courts use when making decisions about property division. The following are some of the foremost factors courts use to decide how property and assets are divided in a divorce:

Geneva family law attorneyDivorce is complex; however, dividing property is often most complex aspect of a process that can take a long time. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the procedure for valuing and dividing a family-owned business. Between personal preferences and the market rates, dividing the value of a business will often create the biggest issues during the process.

Valuation Basics

As one might imagine, Illinois courts only have the ability to divide marital property during divorce proceedings. A family business qualifies as marital property if it is run by both spouses or if one spouse owns a controlling interest. The rationale is that the spouse working there will bring home paychecks earned by improving the business’s value. If the business is deemed marital property, it will be valued so that it and the couple’s other assets can be divided equitably.

Geneva family law attorneyFor many couples, dividing marital property is the most difficult element of the entire divorce process. To a certain extent, it is understandable that a pair who has spent many years together would find it challenging to how to divide assets that belonged to both spouses for so long. This may be especially true for spouses who married young with almost nothing, then spend the next several decades amassing a significant amount of wealth and net-worth. When such a marriage comes to an end, determining who will get what can be long and cumbersome process.

Titled Assets

The first step in dividing marital property is deciding what actually is marital property. According to Illinois law, almost anything acquired by either spouse during the marriage is marital property and subject to division in divorce. Exceptions include gifts and inheritances to one spouse alone. This means that even assets for which a title is issued, such as a vacation home, a vehicle, or boat, are considered marital property if they were purchased after the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title.

Kane County family law attorneyThe prospect of undoing a marriage is not only emotionally overwhelming, but can involve complicated logistical scenarios as well. A common concern among those seeking a divorce from their spouse is how property will be divided.

Marital and Non-Marital Assets

For the purposes of divorce, there are two general types of property. Assets acquired during the marriage are generally considered marital assets while assets purchased or acquired before the marriage are non-marital assets. For example, marital property would include a car the couple purchased together, the marital home, and joint banking accounts, along with regular income each spouse earned during the marriage. Only these shared marital assets will be divided during a divorce. Non-marital assets will remain the property of the original owner.

geneva divorce lawyer, commingled assets, division of propertyDuring the divorce process, as you probably know, you and your spouse will need to divide your marital property between the two of you. If you are not able to reach an agreement regarding who will get what assets, the decision will be left to the court. In such proceedings, the court will first identify what property is to be divided, establish the value of the property, then allocate it equitably—not necessarily equally—in accordance with considerations contained in Illinois law.

In many cases, identifying the marital estate can be rather challenging, despite seemingly straightforward statutes that govern the disposition of property. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that marital property is any asset acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage, except property that was received by one spouse as a gift, inheritance, or in exchange for other, non-marital property. Pretty simple, right? If you earned or received it during the marriage, the asset is probably part of the marital estate and subject to division.

The Challenge of Commingled Assets

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