Tag Archives: marital property

Marital Property Has Monetary, Sentimental ValueDivorcing spouses are required to divide their marital property as part of the settlement. It is important to accurately value all of your assets to ensure that you are getting an equitable share. There are tangible and intangible ways you can assign worth to assets, and understanding them is key to successfully negotiating your division of property. If the court is forced to decide on the division of property, it may not know the personal importance you place on assets that seem less valuable.  When assessing the value of your marital property, there are four questions that you should answer.

Which Properties Are Shared?

Before assigning values to your properties, you need to identify your marital properties that will be subject to division. Courts typically consider marital properties to be those that:

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Kane County divorce attorneysIf you are thinking about a divorce, you probably realize that you and your spouse will need to figure out a plan for dividing the property that you own as a couple. You may also understand that if you cannot reach an agreement on your own, the court will need to step in and divide your assets and debts for you. Finally, you may even know that the property division laws in Illinois are based on the principals of equitable distribution, which means that, if left to the court, your marital property will be divided in a way that is fair and just, not necessarily evenly.

Many individuals, however, are unsure about what the law considers to be marital property. Countless movies and television shows suggest that just about anything a person has ever owned—both prior to and during the marriage—is fair game in a divorce. Fictional characters are often encouraged to be wary of marriage because if it ends badly, his or her spouse will supposedly get half of everything. Assuming that the marital property was supposed to be split 50/50 in Illinois, a spouse would not be entitled to a share of anything the other party ever owned. Instead, the law provides a definition of what comprises the marital estate which, at times, can be a little complicated.

When the Property Was Acquired

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divorce-caseWhen you are working through a divorce, there is the right way to do things and the wrong way to do things. When you do things the wrong way, you run the chance of hurting your case and potentially losing money, property, or time and parenting duties with your child. If you are ever unsure about how to handle a situation that arises or conduct yourself in or outside of court, ask your attorney for guidance. As a preliminary framework, though, keep certain tips in mind to help your own divorce case.

Ignoring Court Orders

A representative of the court will contact you at various points during the divorce process. You might be summoned to appear in court, to give a deposition, or to work with a child custody evaluator to help the court determine an appropriate parenting time schedule for your child. In any of these scenarios, respond promptly to the request and give the court the information it asks for. Failure to comply with the court's orders can count against you in further dealings with the court, such as petitioning to modify your parenting time agreement.

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Equitable-DistributionIf you are a doctor, an attorney, an accountant, a therapist, or any other type of professional that typically works within an individual or group professional practice, you need to consider how your earnings from this practice and interest in it may be divided between you and your spouse during your divorce. Working at a professional practice is not the same as working for an employer, nor is it necessarily the same as working as an independent contractor. You are running a business, either on your own or with partners.

It is important that you work with a divorce attorney who has experience handling such professionals' divorces to ensure that your interests in your practice are protected. Keep the following in mind as you enter a relationship with your attorney and begin the process of dissolving your marriage.

Your Practice Is a Marital Asset

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marital propertyIn a divorce, one of the most important aspects is the division of the couple's marital property. This is done to ensure that each partner exits the marriage with an appropriate share of the body of assets that he or she worked to build while the couple was married. In Illinois, this is done according to the principle of equitable distribution, meaning that a couple's property is not divided 50/50, but according to a set of factors, such as each partner's income and the length of the couple's marriage. In nearly all marriages, the couple's home is the most valuable piece of property they own. However, a home's value is more than just its market price. The amount of money the couple still owes on their mortgage and the house's projected appreciation factor into its value in the property division process. To determine a fair appraisal of a couple's home, a third party appraiser might be brought in to examine all relevant factors to find its value. If a real estate appraisal is a necessary part of your divorce, your attorney can help make sure you receive a fair appraisal quote.

Work with a Reputable Appraiser

Talk to your attorney or use the internet to find a real estate appraiser who has a record of giving accurate, fair appraisals. If you can find an appraiser who has experience working with divorcing couples for this purposes, working with him or her is in your best interest. Be sure to work with an appraiser who is certified by the state of Illinois and part of a nationally-recognized appraisal organization.

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187

 630-407-1777

Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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