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St. Charles IL divorce lawyerSo much of the conversation when we talk about divorce centers around the allocation of assets–property, money, investments. But a couple’s allocation of debt is often just as important, especially in an age where so many people carry the burden of enormous student loans.

Here, we will discuss different types of debt, the factors that can affect debt division, and the process by which debt is divided in an Illinois divorce.

Types of Debt

Marital assets and debts follow a similar pattern in a divorce. Debt that was owned by spouses prior to the marriage will generally be owned by that same spouse after a divorce. Debt that was taken on during the marriage is generally considered marital debt and will be divided between the spouses.

Kane County divorce lawyerEveryone knows that when a couple divorces, they split everything they own 50/50. Right? Wrong! Property division in divorce is actually much more complex than just throwing everything into a big pot and then splitting it down the middle.

In this blog, we will address some of the most common types of property that must be divided in a divorce, and how Illinois divorce courts tend to divide property. Keep in mind that Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that rather than dividing assets 50/50, assets will be divided fairly according to a number of factors that the court will consider.

Homes and Land

The marital home is often the most valuable asset a couple owns together. Depending on whether the couple has children and one of the spouses wishes to stay in the home, the couple may choose to have one spouse buy out the other spouse’s value in the home, or sell the home and split the proceeds.

St. Charles IL divorce lawyerWhen two people are married, most of the assets they acquire throughout the course of their marriage are considered marital property. During a divorce, a court will determine whether certain assets are considered marital or non-marital.

If an asset is determined not to be marital property, the court has no legal authority to award part of the asset to the non-owner spouse in a divorce. Generally, assets acquired by inheritance, gift, legacy, or descent are not considered marital property in Illinois, but the way an asset is treated after the inheritance may render it marital property.

What is an Inheritance?

Inheritances are monies, properties, or other assets that are given to someone through an estate planning document, like a will, or through intestate succession. If someone inherits an asset while they are married, it is generally considered non-marital property, as long as it is possible to prove that the asset was specifically given to the recipient by the deceased.

Kane County divorce attorneyGoing through a marital separation is always challenging—even more so if you find out that your spouse is wasting money or property immediately prior to the divorce. The intentional or reckless waste or abuse of marital property is called the dissipation of assets, and it could be grounds for a remedy in the division of property. As you prepare for your divorce, here are the most important things you should know in order to recognize and address the dissipation of assets if necessary.

How Does Illinois Define Asset Dissipation?

In Illinois, the dissipation of marital property is broadly defined as the unreasonable or improper waste or abuse of jointly held assets for one spouse’s sole use. Under the state’s family law code, dissipation only occurs relatively shortly before a divorce petition was filed or after a divorce petition was already filed. Some specific examples of conduct that could constitute the improper dissipation of marital assets include:

  • Major gambling losses

Kane County divorce attorneyDividing property in a divorce is never easy, particularly when it comes to complex financial assets, such as retirement benefits or a retirement account. This raises an important question: How do we divide retirement assets in a divorce? A special type of legal order known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) offers a solution. In this article, our divorce lawyers provide an overview of QDROs and explain how they can be used to protect your financial interests.

Understanding the Basics of QDROs

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a tool that a divorcing couple can use to effectively and efficiently split up certain types of retirement assets. As described by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a QDRO is “a judgment, decree or order for a retirement plan” for the purposes of dividing marital assets or providing child or spousal support. The importance of a QDRO cannot be overstated. When divorcing couples in Illinois fail to get a proper Qualified Domestic Relations Order, they often face the following three problems:

  • They have a hard time dividing retirement assets fairly.

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