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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in property & asset division

Illinois divorce attorneysDividing marital property in a divorce can be a complex and contentious matter, especially in Illinois. You see, unlike in other states where property and assets are divided equally, Illinois distributes assets in an equitable (“fair”) manner. Unfortunately, everyone’s version of fair is not the same. As such, the courts have some factors that guide the asset division process. Learn more about them, and what an experienced divorce attorney can do for you, with help from the following information.

What is Included in the Marital Estate?

Before the courts can divide a couple’s assets, the overall value of the marital estate must be determined. Items that are included in this process will typically include any assets acquired during the marriage, but individual assets that were acquired before the marriage may also be included if they were co-mingled with marital funds. Examples of such items may include:

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DuPage County divorce lawyersOf all the assets that a couple owns, the family home tends to be the most emotional to negotiate in divorce. It can also make up nearly half of the couple’s assets, depending on where they are in the mortgage and depreciation scale. As such, it is crucial that couples fully understand the risks and potential pitfalls associated with family home negotiations – especially if one party plans on keeping it. The following information may help. 

Approach Negotiations with a Clear Head

The first thing to keep in mind is that divorce, though often an emotionally wrenching situation, is more like a business transaction, and it should be treated as such. This means, no matter how irritated or angry you might be with your spouse, you will need to come to the negotiations with a clear head. Avoid being petty, disengage from arguments, and consider letting your lawyer handle the bulk of the communications to minimize contact.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysWhile some states have couples split their assets evenly, Illinois divides the marital estate “fairly.” Of course, this obscure term can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Indeed, what seems “fair” in the eyes of the court – or in the eyes of your spouse – may not seem very fair to you. How do you put things into perspective, and how can you ensure that you do, in fact, get your fair share in divorce? The following tips can help.

Know What You Own

One of the biggest reasons that couples get shortchanged in divorce is that they walked into the process not knowing what they and their spouse owned. You see, before the marital estate can be divided, it must be valued. This value will not be accurate if there are missing asset. Start by looking for evidence of savings accounts, stocks or bonds, non-monetary assets (collector’s items, expensive jewelry, art, etc.), bank accounts, investment accounts, and retirement accounts that may not have been disclosed to you during the marriage. Then gather documentation and submit it to your attorney.

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Illinois divorce lawyerWhen it comes to divorce in Illinois, marital property is divided equitably, but not necessarily equally. This can result in a great deal of contention, and even confusion over who gets what out of a divorce. If you are separated, planning on filing for divorce, or have already begun the process, the following information can help you better understand how marital property is divided in divorce.

Marital Factors That Influence Property Distribution

Once the assets and debts have been valued in a divorce, couples can begin to negotiate a reasonable settlement regarding how the marital estate can be distributed. However, those that are unable to reach an agreement may take the matter to court. Here, a judge will consider several factors to determine how marital property should be distributed. These include:

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When basketball star Kobe Bryant married his wife in 2001, he was 21 years old and she was 18. Bryant was just beginning his basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers and the two did not sign a pre-nuptial agreement. Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce in December 2011, and with no pre-nup and California’s community property laws, she stands to receive half of Bryant’s reported $150 million in assets.

The couple has two children together, for who Vanessa will most likely receive child support payments. Because the marriage lasted more than ten years, California law considers the marriage a lengthy one and she may also be entitled to spousal support as well as a portion of Bryan’s retirement savings.

The LA Times reported that the couple owns three mansions, located in Newport Beach, which have already been put in Vanessa’s name. According to property records on file, the homes have a total value of $18.8 million.

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