Lawyer Assisting Divorcing Spouses With Asset And Debt Division In DuPage County
Getting a divorce can be a very complex undertaking, especially if a couple owns a significant amount of property together. Each spouse will have their own priorities for what items mean the most to them, and they may disagree about who should keep certain valuable assets. Determining how to divide this property fairly can be difficult, and when addressing these issues, it is crucial to work with an experienced family law attorney.
The lawyers at SBK Law Group understand how emotionally difficult a divorce can be. When you need to resolve disputes over finances and property, we can advise you of your rights, and we will work with you to determine the best way to reach an outcome that will provide for your ongoing needs. With more than 25 years of combined legal experience, we can help you protect your rights and resolve these issues effectively.
Dividing Different Types Of Marital Property
Marital property is defined as any assets or debts acquired during a couple’s marriage. That is, anything purchased or obtained after a couple became married and before a judgment of legal separation will be considered marital property, no matter who made the purchases, who regularly used the property, or who earned the income used to pay for items. Assets acquired by either spouse before getting married or after a legal separation can be considered nonmarital property, and these assets will remain the sole property of that spouse.
Inheritances or gifts may also be considered nonmarital property, and a couple may also use a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to decide that certain assets are nonmarital property. The divorce laws in Illinois use the principle of “equitable distribution” when dividing marital property. This means that assets will be divided fairly, but depending on the circumstances, not necessarily equally. Some of the types of marital property that divorcing spouses may need to address include:
- Cash and financial accounts – This is often the easiest type of asset to divide since it can be split equally, or one spouse may keep a certain amount of money while the other spouse keeps assets of an equivalent or similar value.
- Vehicles – In many cases, each party may keep the car they primarily use. However, when there is a large difference in value between vehicles or the amounts owed on auto loans, other assets may need to be allocated in a way that makes up for this disparity. If money is still owed on the car, it needs to be determined who shall be responsible for repaying this debt.
- The family home – A house is often one of the most valuable assets owned by a married couple, and it may have sentimental value for both parties, or the custodial parent may wish to allow children to continue living in the home. When addressing ownership of real estate property, a couple may choose to sell the home and divide the proceeds of the sale, or one spouse may buy out the other spouse’s share of the home’s equity and refinance the mortgage in their own name.
- Family-owned businesses – Spouses who own and operate a business, either together or separately, may want to reach a divorce settlement that will allow the business to continue operating. In some cases, one spouse may buy out the other’s share of the business, while in others, the parties may agree to co-own and co-manage the business after their divorce.
- Credit cards and other debts – Spouses can be equally liable for paying any joint debts. However, it is often possible to negotiate responsibility for repaying debts as part of any settlement discussion. It is important to understand that even if some debts are allocated to one spouse during divorce, if this spouse does not make the required payments, creditors may pursue repayment from the other spouse.
- Retirement accounts and pensions – One or both spouses may have made contributions to employer-sponsored accounts such as a 401(k) or an IRA, or they may be eligible for pension benefits upon retirement. These funds or benefits may need to be divided between spouses, and when doing so, a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) should be used, which will allow for withdrawals or transfers to be made without being subject to taxes or penalties. This can be difficult and complex to determine, which is why you should allow the lawyers at SBK Law Group advise you on the best option for you. We work directly with Certified Financial Planners to help get you the best outcomes when it comes to dividing retirement accounts or investment assets.
Contact Our Downers Grove Asset Division Lawyers
The division of marital property is just one of many issues that will need to be resolved during divorce, and it can have a major impact on your finances going forward. Our attorneys can advise you of your rights in these matters, and we will help you understand the best ways to achieve a positive outcome in your case. Contact our office today at 630-427-4407. We assist with divorce cases in DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Will County, and Cook County.