Tag Archives: division of assets

Kane County family law attorneyIssues of money and property are often among the most contested elements in any divorce situation. A couple who has spent many years building a life together frequently have trouble disengaging from one another, at least in regard to their assets and debts. When divorcing spouses cannot reach a negotiated agreement regarding how their property will be divided, the court will make such decisions for them. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) provides fairly straightforward guidelines for the distribution of marital property which must be followed by the court.

What Property Will Be Divided?

Before any assets can be distributed, the court must first identify the property that is subject to division. Only assets and debts that are considered marital property will be divided between the spouses. The full listing of a couple’s marital property is sometimes referred to as the “marital estate.” According to Illinois law, the marital estate consists of virtually all property—including assets and debts—acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Very limited exceptions may be made for assets acquired during the marriage as a gift or inheritance to one spouse. Assets that were owned before the marriage are considered non-marital and are not subject to division.

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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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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyForensic accounting is the practice of using accounting skills to uncover acts of fraud or embezzlement. It can be used in a variety of situations, such as determining whether a financial adviser or other trusted party is embezzling money from his or her clients or determining whether a business is actually a front for a money laundering operation. In a divorce case, forensic accounting can be used to uncover assets that an individual is attempting to hide from his or her partner in an effort to come away from the divorce with a greater share of the couple's marital asset pool. If you suspect your partner is doing this, speak with your divorce attorney about your options for using forensic accounting to recover the assets.

How Does a Forensic Accountant Find Assets?

A forensic accountant is an accountant who uses investigative skills to determine how money is earned, invested, saved, and spent. Forensic accountants use multiple methods to trace assets. A few of these methods are listed below:

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Ilinois divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce lawsWhen an Illinois couple divorces, their assets are divided among them equitably. This means that rather than splitting the couple's assets down the middle, the court divides them according to what it feels would benefit each party most and accurately compensates each for his or her contributions to the marriage. But in order for the court to determine this, it must determine the monetary value of the couple's total pool of assets. For most couples, the largest piece of the asset pool is the couple's home. Houses can also fluctuate greatly in value, and it is not uncommon for real estate websites to list misleading values for houses. This is why a divorcing couple must have their home appraised by a certified real estate appraiser.

The Appraisal Process

When a real estate appraiser comes to determine a property's value, he or she begins the process with a brief chat with the property's owner. During this chat, he or she might ask questions about and special circumstances regarding the property or concerns the owner has. After this, the appraiser tours the property, taking note of aspects like room size, the materials used in the home, whether key features like the roof or heating system have been replaced or will need to be in the near future, updates the homeowners made to the home, and any special features like a finished basement or a swimming pool. These can all raise or lower the value of a property.

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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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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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