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How Are Collectibles Divided in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on June 29, 2024 in Family Law

Bloomingdale, IL divorce lawyerOne of the more complex parts of the divorce process is called property division or asset division. This is when spouses divide marital property between themselves. Marital property, as defined by Illinois law, refers to possessions that were acquired by either spouse during the marriage. With some exceptions, these possessions are considered marital property and belong to both spouses.

Property division becomes more complicated if certain assets are involved. Collectibles and antiques, for example, are not so easy to divide. For one thing, their value may have increased over the years since they were purchased. For another, they cannot be physically divided any more than real estate property can.

If you have expensive antiques or collectibles that need to be divided, contact an Illinois property division attorney who can help make sure they are valued and divided fairly. This article will discuss how that is done.

How Are Collectibles Valued?

Collectibles and antiques usually increase in value over time. Some baseball cards that were worth a few cents in the 1960s now cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Antique furniture, paintings, jewelry, and cars also become worth a lot more as time passes. The best way to find out how much value a collectible or antique is worth is to hire a valuation expert. Valuation experts are trained to appraise objects and determine their value.

How Are Collectibles Divided?

Because they cannot be physically split, one of the ways collectibles are divided in a divorce is by selling them and dividing the money between the spouses. However, some collectibles have sentimental value and a spouse might not want to part with them. In that case, a judge might allow that spouse to keep the item and award the other spouse another asset of equal value.

What About Gifts?

There are three types of possessions that are not considered marital property, even if they were acquired during the marriage:

  • Gifts that were given to one spouse exclusively

  • Inheritance

  • Property acquired by using non-marital property as collateral

Gifts that were given specifically for one spouse are not considered marital property and do not have to be divided in a divorce. For example, if one spouse gave an antique piece of jewelry to the other spouse as a birthday gift, it was intended just for him or her and it is presumed not to be marital property. This presumption can sometimes be overcome, but it takes some work and there must be good justification for it. 

Contact a Lombard, IL Property Division Attorney

If you have collectibles and/or antiques that might be divided in a divorce, seek an experienced Bloomingdale, IL property division lawyer. The attorneys at Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices have over 175 years of combined legal experience and are very familiar with helping clients through the property division process. We are also well-networked and can connect you with excellent valuation experts if necessary. Call 630-932-9100 for a free consultation and to receive top-tier legal help today.

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