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St. Charles property division lawyerMost of the decisions you make during your divorce can and probably will affect you for the rest of your life, but one of the most important decisions you and your spouse must come to is how you will divide your marital estate. For many couples, this can be an emotional and highly contentious process because of the importance placed on their belongings and the need to have financial security after the divorce process has been completed. The way marital property is divided can affect a person’s financial stability or even their ability to retire later in life. With so much at stake, Illinois courts urge couples to try to come to an agreement on their own about property division, though, if they cannot, they will have to take the issue to court.

Factors for Consideration

If a couple is unable to reach an agreement about how their marital estate will be divided, they will have to appear before a judge so that he or she can make a determination for them. If this happens, the judge will only make decisions about marital property, which means most property that was acquired after the couple was legally married but before a judgment of legal separation was entered. The judge will consider a variety of factors, including:

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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.

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Cryptocurrency Difficult to Find, Value During DivorceMarital assets in a divorce can be intangible properties that hold great value, particularly in a high-asset divorce. Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are a modern example of an intangible financial asset. Most divorces do not have cryptocurrencies because owners typically must have a combination of technological savvy and individual wealth. The value of one Bitcoin has hovered around $10,000 for the past few months. Owning cryptocurrency can make the division of property more complicated. You may need to hire a financial professional with knowledge of cryptocurrency and how it applies to divorce laws.

Hidden Asset

Cryptocurrencies are a decentralized and unregulated form of digital currency that originated in the past decade. The lack of a central bank or government oversight creates the risk that a divorcee could hide part of their assets by:

  • Using them to purchase cryptocurrency; and
  • Hiding the cryptocurrency in hard-to-find accounts.

You can trace most cryptocurrency transactions through digital records, but doing so may require a forensic accountant with experience investigating digital transactions. A divorcee may be able to cover their tracks by conducting transactions in person and erasing the digital evidence. Finding cryptocurrency during a divorce may continue to be a problem until there are greater regulations on the market.

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How Bonuses, Commissions, and Stock Options Are Treated During DivorceThe income you earned before you filed for divorce is considered marital property, which is part of the division of property. Your income after your divorce is used to calculate child support and spousal maintenance but is otherwise yours to keep. The structure of your pay has little consequence on your divorce if you receive a straightforward salary or hourly wages. With other forms of compensation, the timing of your divorce could determine whether your spouse can claim a portion of that income:

  1. Bonuses: In most cases, a work bonus qualifies as marital property if you received it before you filed for divorce. You must make sure that your spouse does not double count the bonus by claiming it as marital property and including it as part of your income when calculating support. An exception may be a bonus with a clawback provision, which states that you must return the bonus if you are no longer with your employer before a set date. You could argue that you should not include the bonus in the division of property because you could lose it. If it is part of the division of property, you should include a section in your agreement stating that your spouse must repay their share of the bonus if you are forced to return it for reasons beyond your control.
  2. Commissions: Some employees receive a commission for work completed in place of or in addition to their salary. If you know that commission pay is coming, you can try to file for divorce in advance so that it is not marital property. However, your spouse may argue that the commission is marital property because you completed the work related to the commission while you were still married. If you cannot agree with your spouse, a divorce court will need to decide whether the commission is marital property.
  3. Stock Options: Illinois divorce law states that stock options that you receive during your marriage are assumed to be marital property, regardless of whether they are vested or if you know their actual value at the time of the divorce. A divorce agreement can set a provision that you will pay your spouse a share of these stocks when you exercise your option on them. Stock options are not marital property if they were a gift or part of an inheritance, which does not apply to stock options you received through work.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

Much of your negotiating during divorce will focus on identifying your marital properties, determining their value, and dividing them between you and your spouse. A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can ensure that your division of property is accurate and meets your needs. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Financial Mistakes to Avoid During Your DivorceIt is easy to think of a divorce settlement in terms of winners and losers. You may feel like you won the negotiations if you obtained most of the marital properties you wanted and secured favorable support payments. However, there is more to a divorce settlement than the initial financial totals:

  • Property ownership can come with additional expenses;
  • Some properties have more potential for growth; and
  • How support payments are structured can favor one side in terms of taxes.

You need to take a broad perspective of the financial consequences of your divorce settlement.

Pursuing Your Home

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