Category Archives: Marital Property

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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property-divisionBig changes have come to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, effective January 1, 2016. These changes include new rules regarding child custody, property division, grounds for divorce, and the period of time a couple must be separated from each other before they may file for divorce. 

Property Will be Valued by its Market Value Standard

Under the changes to the law, the court will determine the value of a couple's property by applying the fair market value standard. This means that a couple's property will be appraised according to its worth on the date that the court handles the couple's property division, rather than by considering factors like the property's cost and potential for depreciation. If necessary, the court can bring in an outside financial expert to appraise a couple's property. The divorcing couple may be held responsible for the cost of the professional appraiser.

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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


 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563


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


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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