Glen Ellyn Property Division Attorney
Divorce Lawyers for the Division of Assets and Debts in DuPage County
If you are going through a divorce, determining how to divide the property you and your spouse own together is likely to be one of your primary concerns. Whether you want to retain ownership of items that are important to you or need to ensure that financial assets and debts are divided in a way that allows you to maintain financial security, it is essential to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side.
At Aldrich & Siedlarz Law, P.C., we understand that the process of dividing property during divorce can be complex and challenging. Our lawyers can help you understand your rights regarding your marital assets, and we will strongly advocate for your rights and interests when negotiating a settlement. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on how property should be divided, we are prepared to litigate your case in court and help you achieve an outcome that meets your ongoing needs.
What Is Considered Marital Property?
Any assets or debts that spouses acquire during their marriage are considered marital property. That is, property that is purchased, income that is earned, and debts that are accrued by either spouse after the date of the marriage and before a legal separation are all considered to be marital assets. This property forms the marital estate, which is subject to division between the spouses during divorce.
Assets owned by a spouse before the marriage or acquired after legal separation are considered non-marital property. Assets acquired as gifts or inheritances given to one spouse may be considered non-marital property, and a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may also be used to designate certain property as non-marital assets.
Equitable Division of Assets and Debts
Illinois law states that the marital estate should be fairly and equitably divided between spouses. This does not necessarily mean that each spouse will own an equal share of the assets. Instead, property should be divided in "just proportions" based on each spouse's needs, their economic circumstances, and their contributions to the marriage.
Typically, divorcing spouses will work to reach an agreement that is as fair as possible for both parties. This may include assigning property to each party based on the financial value of the assets, while also addressing the emotional or practical reasons a spouse will want to keep certain items. If necessary, appraisers, accountants, or other financial experts may be used to determine the value of certain assets and ensure that they are divided fairly.
In many cases, the property division process is straightforward, but it can become complex for some types of assets. If spouses own a business or professional practice, either together or separately, they may want to determine how to divide their assets in a way that allows the business to continue operating. Assets such as retirement accounts or pensions should be divided using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to avoid being subject to taxes or penalties. If a couple owns a home or other real estate property, they may need to sell the property and divide the proceeds, or the mortgage may need to be refinanced in the name of the party who will retain ownership of the home.
Debt acquired by either spouse during the marriage is also considered marital property, and it should be fairly divided between the spouses. Debts such as home mortgages or car loans may be assigned to the spouse who retains ownership of the associated asset, while joint debts such as the balances on credit cards may be divided based on each spouse's economic circumstances and their ability to pay off these amounts.
It is important to note that even if a court orders debts to be divided in a certain way, creditors are not required to abide by these decisions, and they may still hold both parties liable for joint debts. If possible, it is recommended to close any joint credit cards or other accounts before finalizing the divorce to avoid any potential joint liabilities.
Contact a Lombard Asset Division Lawyer
Fully understanding the extent of your assets and debts and determining how to fairly divide this property can be challenging. At Aldrich & Siedlarz, P.C., we can help you understand your rights regarding your marital property, and we will work with you to negotiate a settlement that meets your needs. To schedule a complimentary consultation with a DuPage County divorce attorney, contact our office at 630-953-3000 today. Mowimy Po Pulsku.