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St. Charles divorce attorneysRegardless of the circumstances surrounding the breakdown of a marriage, divorce can be complicated. For those couples who have a high net worth, divorcing may be a very complex process. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means items are divided fairly but not necessarily in half. In order for marital assets or property to be divided, they must first be assigned a value. This can be a difficult task for unusual or unique assets that are often acquired by individuals with considerable wealth. Even if a couple is amicable at the beginning of the process, the division of property can quickly become contentious, so it is important to have an attorney by your side to protect your rights.  

Dividing Property Can Be Complex

Items or assets that are accumulated during the marriage are considered marital property. Separate or “nonmarital” property is anything that one of the spouses acquired prior to the matrimonial union. However, gifts or inheritance are also typically classified under separate property. Forensic accountants or valuation experts can help a divorce lawyer accurately assign property as marital or separate. In addition, they can provide an accurate assessment of the overall value of the marital estate, including complex matters such as a family-owned business or an expansive financial portfolio. 

Illinois courts consider several factors into account when determining how to split these assets equitably. Some of these factors include each spouse’s occupation, health, age, and income sources. 

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Kane County dissipation attorneysAlthough it would be ideal, not every divorce is amicable. One spouse may have been planning to split for months, while the other spouse is blindsided by the news. In certain scenarios, one partner may have controlled all or most of the couple’s finances during the marriage. In these cases, one spouse is put at a disadvantage because he or she is financially vulnerable. 

Under Illinois law, the division of assets or property is subject to equitable distribution. This means any marital property that was acquired during the marriage will be divided in a fair manner. However, one spouse may be guilty of depleting and/or hiding assets in order to keep more for himself or herself after the marriage is legally terminated. Inappropriate spending in such a situation is called dissipation of assets, and a skilled attorney along with a forensic accountant can help in revealing this form of deception.         

How to Detect Wasteful Behavior

Dividing assets or property can be one of the most contested aspects of a divorce. The court considers several factors when determining who gets what. In some cases, the split could be 65/35 or 80/20, or all marital property could even be allocated to one spouse.  

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Kane County divorce lawyersA divorce can impact all areas of a person’s life, from physically separating to breaking apart emotionally and financially. Once the decision to divorce has been made, a couple may think the hard part is over. However, the legal process of ending a marriage raises many new queries that need to be resolved. For example, how will property and assets be divided? If children are involved, who will be awarded the allocation of parental responsibilities and who will pay child support? What are the tax implications, especially when it comes time to file your taxes? With tax season upon us, it is important to be prepared by considering the tax consequences when you get divorced in order to protect your financial future.   

Tax Implications of Divorce

Even if you or your spouse has filed the divorce petition, if you are still married as of December 31 of that given year, you have the option to file jointly for that year’s tax return. Until a divorce decree has officially been issued, you are married in the eyes of the law. However, once your divorce is final, each party has the option to claim as Single or Head of Household. The right choice for your situation will depend on your specific circumstances, and it is advisable that you speak with a tax professional.

If you have children together, the parent with the majority of the parental responsibility typically files as head of household, and the tax exemption or credit for the children usually goes to this parent. In some scenarios, parents can split tax exemptions using IRS form 8332, which means the custodial parent allows the other parent to claim a child on his or her taxes. Parents can also claim a tax credit for each dependent who is under the age of 17. There are also other credits for contributions to education and childcare.

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Kane County family law attorneyA divorce can trigger many different emotions, from anger to sadness to resentment. Although there are couples who part ways amicably, many divorces can be contentious. Such cases can involve disputes over parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, and property division. One of the biggest questions is who will be allowed to stay in the marital home? In many cases, both spouses feel like they are entitled to the house they bought together. However, usually only one spouse will remain in the home and the other spouse will move out. Determining this can be complicated and a major point of contention. 

How Are Marital Assets Divided? 

In Illinois, marital assets or property include anything that was acquired during the marriage. This can also be debts that one or both partners accrued. Non-marital property are things that each spouse owned before the wedding or acquired once they legally separated. Gifts and inheritances received by just one spouse during the marriage are still generally considered non-marital property. On the other hand, the home the couple lived in is often considered marital property, even if it was bought before the couple was married.

When it comes to splitting the marital estate, it is divided according to “equitable distribution.” This means items are divided fairly and may not be split exactly in half. The courts will consider several factors when deciding how to divide the assets equitably. Some of these factors include:

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Kane County divorce lawyersIf a couple has been married for many years, the decision to divorce is not an easy one. Since a lot of time and effort was put into the marriage, it can be devastating both emotionally and financially for one or both of the spouses. The division of marital assets is an issue that needs to be determined during the divorce proceedings, which can cause a lot of conflict if the spouses do not agree on how to divide everything, especially financial assets. One or both partners might have retirement accounts such as 401K, IRA, or pension. Even in an uncontested divorce, splitting the retirement assets can be confusing, so it is helpful to seek legal counsel to make sure both spouses receive what they deserve.  

What is Considered Marital Property?

According to Illinois divorce law, any marital property will be divided fairly and equitably, but not necessarily equally. This is referred to as “equitable distribution.” Marital property is generally considered all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. This can include real estate, furniture, and vehicles, in addition to financial and retirement accounts.

A spouse may be entitled to a portion of the other spouse’s retirement plans, such as a 401(k), IRA, stock options, or pension benefits, and vice versa. If a spouse pays into a retirement account or a pension during the marriage, at least part of that account or pension is considered marital property, regardless if only one spouse’s income was paid into the account. All pension benefits, including those under the Illinois Pension Code, as well as stock options, acquired by either spouse during the marriage are marital property, regardless of which spouse participates in the pension plan.

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Posted on in Divorce

Kane County prenup lawyerWhen two people get married, they pledge to spend the rest of their lives together. Sometimes it does not work out that way, and they want to get a divorce. Couples who enter into divorce proceedings may worry they will be left with nothing. If that is a concern you have prior to getting married, it may be beneficial to craft a prenuptial agreement.

The need for a prenup can vary depending on the couple and the state in which you live. Illinois law divides property equitably, which does not necessarily mean equally. Equitable division of property looks at numerous factors to determine what is fair to both parties. A prenup can be used as one of the factors which determines how the court will divide property and debts during a divorce in Illinois.

Each couple’s situation is different, so it is a good idea to take stock of your finances if you are considering a prenup agreement. You will need that information for the agreement anyway, and it can be a helpful exercise to fully understand the breadth of your financial situation.

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West Dundee divorce property division attorneyIf you are considering entering into divorce proceedings, you may be wondering what will happen to the property you own. Each state has its own laws that determine how to divide property in a divorce. In Illinois, the law states that property must be divided in an equitable, but not necessarily equal, manner. Before the court can make the decision regarding how to divide the property, the property first needs to be divided into two categories: marital property and non-marital property. 

Marital Vs. Non-Marital Property

Marital property includes any property or debts that were acquired during the course of the marriage by either spouse. The types of property that are considered marital assets may vary widely. The scope of what is and is not marital property does not stop at large purchases; it can be any type of physical property or financial assets that the couple has in their home or elsewhere. However, some assets may not be considered marital property even if they were acquired during the marriage, such as if the item was a gift or inheritance. 

Most non-marital property consists of assets that were acquired by either spouse before the marriage. However, non-marital property can also include property received in exchange for other property which was acquired before the marriage, property acquired by a spouse after a legal separation, or property not included as marital property because of a legal agreement between the spouses (such as a prenuptial agreement). 

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