call us630-584-4800

Free Consultations

Which Qualities Are Necessary for Your Real Estate Agent During Divorce?You have many important decisions to make about your marital home during a divorce, including whether you should sell it. Some spouses decide that selling their home is their best option if neither of them needs a home of that size or would be able to afford the home on their own. Selling the home could give both of you a significant amount of money to use in starting your post-marriage life. If you decide to sell your marital home, choosing an experienced real estate agent will be important in ensuring a successful sale that helps your divorce. There are characteristics that a real estate agent needs when selling a home for divorce:

  1. Neutrality: Because you will be using the same real estate agent, you need to feel that the agent is treating you equally. Showing favoritism to one side causes the other side to distrust the agent and may lead to conflict in the divorce. The agent must make a concerted effort to share information equally with both spouses, even though it is natural to communicate more with the spouse who is still living in the home.
  2. Diplomacy: Similar to neutrality, the agent should be diplomatic in dealing with you. An agent who has experience with divorcing clients should know how to help both sides agree on important issues regarding the sale. There may be times when your emotions lead to an argument with your spouse about the home. Your agent should know how to help defuse this situation and keep you on track with the sale.
  3. Trustworthiness: You always want to trust your real estate agent but may need to rely on that trust more during a divorce. You may not have the time to oversee every step of the sale. You need to trust that your agent can follow your instructions and make decisions that are in your best interest.
  4. Strong Negotiator: Your financial plan for your divorce may rely on the money you receive from selling your home. You need an agent who can negotiate a good price on the sale and complete it in a timely fashion so as not to delay your financial plans.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

You should be able to learn whether a real estate agent would be a good fit for you by searching for client reviews and interviewing them. How do you find the best candidates among the hundreds of agents? A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can recommend real estate agents when handling your divorce case. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

Source:

Last modified on

Why It Is Important to Appraise Your House During DivorceIf you are a homeowner who is getting a divorce, a real estate appraisal is essential to ensuring that you have a fair division of property. Appraising your home is a natural step if you plan to sell it as part of your divorce. You need to know what your home is worth before you entertain offers for it. However, you also need an appraisal if one of you plans to keep the home following the divorce. The value of the home is part of calculating how to equitably divide your marital properties.

Preparing for an Appraisal

A real estate appraiser will estimate the value of your home based on factors such as its size, amenities, condition, and comparative market value. Your responsibility is to prepare your home so that it looks favorable to the appraiser. This may include:

  • Cleaning and organizing the interior and exterior of the home
  • Making sure that the major fixtures are working properly
  • Performing minor repairs
  • Maintaining the yard surrounding the house

Your goal is to polish the surface-level appearance of the home without spending too much money on it. For instance, you could clean your carpets if they are looking dirty, but installing new carpeting in a room would be an unnecessary expense.

Last modified on

Five Factors When Dividing Vehicles in a DivorceUnless you live in an area with a robust public transportation system, your vehicle is one of the most essential properties that you own. Thus, your car is one of the more important properties that you will include in your division of property during a divorce. The division may seem straight-forward if you own two vehicles. You each will get one vehicle. However, there are several issues related to your vehicles that you need to consider before completing your divorce:

  1. Is the Vehicle a Marital or Separate Property?: If you purchased the vehicle during your marriage with your shared income, then it is marital property. It may be separate property if you purchased it before your marriage, you received it as a gift, or you managed to pay for it with money that is separate from your marital assets. However, a vehicle you purchased before your marriage can become marital property if your spouse has helped you repay the loan on the vehicle.
  2. Who Gets Each Vehicle?: When you have two marital vehicles, you must decide which vehicle each of you will keep. If you cannot agree on how to divide the vehicles on your own, a divorce court may decide based on who primarily drives each vehicle and how they use the vehicle. For instance, the court may award you a truck that you need for transporting equipment for work.
  3. What Are the Values of the Vehicles?: Vehicles can differ in value depending on their model, age, and condition. If your spouse is getting the more valuable vehicle, you can request compensation in the form of other marital assets. You need a professional appraiser to determine the value of any vehicles that you own, from cars to motorcycles.
  4. Are You Still Paying Off a Loan?: You and your spouse share the debt on a vehicle loan if you cosigned on the loan agreement. Marital debts are equitably divided between spouses in an Illinois divorce. Spouses often agree that the person who keeps the vehicle should be the one who is responsible for the remainder of the loan. However, you can also request that your spouse help you repay the loan if you do not have the financial means to do it on your own.
  5. Whose Name Is on the Title?: Removing or changing the names on your vehicle title is something you must do separately from your divorce. Failing to update the title could cause problems later if you want to sell the vehicle. If your former spouse’s name is still on the title, you cannot sell the vehicle without their permission. You can update your vehicle title by submitting an Application for Vehicle Transaction with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Lawyer

Your marital vehicles are one part of the many valuable properties that you must divide during your divorce. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you in negotiating an equitable division that lets you keep the properties you need most. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

Source:

Last modified on

Four Steps for Dividing Retirement Assets in DivorceRetirement assets grow in importance as marital property the longer you are married. If you divorce after several years of marriage, they could be one of the most valuable properties you own. As with all marital properties, you must include your retirement benefits as part of your division of property, and figuring out how to do so will be one of the most complicated parts of the divorce process. In general, there are four steps to determining how you will divide your retirement benefits as part of your divorce agreement:

  1. Valuing Your Benefits: To start, you need to know the current value of your retirement benefits. Retirement accounts are classified as defined contribution plans and defined benefit plans. It is easier to determine the value of a defined contribution plan because it is an individual account that you are paying into. With a defined benefit plan, your retirement benefits are part of a group account that will pay you based on a formula, and estimating its value is based on your life expectancy and the account's interest rates.
  2. Identifying the Marital Portion: Once you know the value of your retirement benefits, you must determine how much of it counts as marital property. The amount that your retirement benefits increased in value during your marriage is the amount that is marital property. Increases can come from your contributions to the plan, interest accrued on your holdings, and investments made with the money. The cut-off date determines when you stop counting increases in value towards your marital property. In Illinois, the date that a couple separates is usually the cut-off date.
  3. Dividing the Benefits: Because Illinois is an equitable division state, you do not have to divide your marital retirement benefits evenly between each other. When a divorce court determines whether the division of retirement benefits is equitable, they will consider the duration of the marriage and the economic resources of each spouse. You may be able to keep all of your retirement benefits in exchange for other marital properties, such as your home.
  4. Transferring Benefits: With many retirement plans, people are entitled to benefits based on being an employee or member of an organization. In order to receive benefits that you would not otherwise be entitled to, you will need a court order to transfer a portion of these benefits. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is for private retirement benefits, such as a business’ retirement plan. A Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order is for retirement benefits provided by the Illinois state government. A Military Retired Benefit Division Order is for anyone who receives retirement pay because of their military service.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Dividing retirement benefits as part of your divorce may take the combined efforts of your divorce lawyer and a financial professional, such as an actuary. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group will determine how to include your retirement benefits as part of your divorce while still protecting them. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

Source:

Last modified on

Are Student Loans a Marital Debt During Divorce?Student loans are among the largest debts that many Americans have and can be difficult to get rid of. Even bankruptcy is unlikely to discharge your student loans. When you are married, your spouse can help you keep up with your bills or even cosign on your student loan agreement. However, what happens to your student loan debts during your divorce? In Illinois, divorcing spouses equitably divide their marital debts. There are five important questions that determine whether student loan debts qualify as marital debts and how they will be divided during your divorce:

  1. When Were the Student Loan Debts Created?: The primary difference between marital and nonmarital debts is whether you entered the debt while you were married. If you took out a student loan while you were married, you will likely classify it as a marital debt. If your student loans originated before your marriage, they are likely a nonmarital debt that you are solely responsible for. 
  2. Whose Name Is on the Contract?: From the creditor’s perspective, the people responsible for your student loans are the ones whose names are on the student loan agreement. The creditor may require your spouse to cosign on the agreement if you take out a student loan or refinance a premarital student loan agreement while married. If your spouse’s name is not on the agreement, you can negotiate for them to help repay your student loans as part of your divorce, but the creditor will hold you responsible if your spouse does not follow through.
  3. What Does Your Prenup Say?: A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can decide how you will divide debts during divorce, including your student loans. If you have a prenuptial agreement, it may state that you will be solely responsible for your own student loan debts or that your spouse will help pay your nonmarital student loans.
  4. Do You Both Have Student Loans?: An equitable division of debt means it must be fair given the circumstances and not necessarily equal. If you both incurred student loan debts of similar value during your marriage, you can agree to each be responsible for your own student loans.
  5. How Was the Money Used?: It may also be equitable for a spouse to be responsible for their own student loans if all of the money went towards paying for their education and benefiting their career. However, spouses sometimes use student loan money to pay for marital expenses, which may mean it is fair for both spouses to share the debt.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

Your marital debts are part of a larger financial picture in your divorce, including how you will divide your marital properties. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can help you create a strategy for financial success in your divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

Source:

Last modified on
Back to Top