Tips for Dividing Assets and Debts in a Divorce
Divorces that involve major assets and debts can be especially challenging. Couples with real estate, investments, retirement accounts, and other high-value assets must carefully navigate the division process. In any case, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the laws and regulations surrounding property division in Illinois to ensure a fair and equitable settlement. This blog will provide tips and insights on approaching asset and debt division during a divorce. Read on to learn more.
Understanding Illinois Law for Assets and Debt Distribution
If a couple can agree on how to divide their assets and liabilities, they are free to distribute property and debt however they see fit. However, if the parties to a divorce are unable to reach an agreement, the case may proceed to court, where a judge makes the decision.
In Illinois, the property is divided under the equitable distribution system, which means that the court will divide assets and debts in a manner that is fair and just but not necessarily equal. Equitable distribution does not mean that everything is divided 50/50, but rather, the court takes into consideration a variety of factors, including:
- The duration of the marriage
- The income and property of each party
- The contributions of each party to the marriage
- The age, health, and earning capacity of each party
- The standard of living established during the marriage
Tips for Dividing Assets and Debts
Here are some tips to streamline the process of assets and debt division during a divorce.
- Make a Comprehensive List of All Assets & Debts - It's essential to have a complete and accurate list of all marital assets and debts. This includes everything from real estate and bank accounts to retirement accounts and personal property. Debts can include mortgages, credit card debt, and car loans. Your divorce attorney can help you list all assets and debts that must be divided.
- Determine Which Assets Are Marital Property - Marital property is any property acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. This can include assets such as homes, cars, and bank accounts. Property acquired before the marriage is typically considered separate property and is not subject to division. However, if the separate property was used to benefit the marriage, it may be subject to division. Therefore, take the time with your attorney to determine which assets may not be subject to division.
- Consider the Tax Implications of Property Division - When dividing assets, it's essential to consider the tax implications of each asset. Some assets, such as retirement accounts, may be subject to taxes and penalties if not handled correctly.
- Keep the Best Interests of Any Children in Mind - If children are involved, their best interests should be considered when dividing assets and debts. This can include ensuring they have a stable home and sufficient financial support.
- Seek Professional Advice When Dividing Complex Assets - Dividing complex assets such as business interests, real estate, and investment portfolios can be challenging. It's essential to seek the advice of professionals, such as accountants or appraisers, to ensure that the assets are valued correctly and that the division is fair.
Contact a Kane County Property Division Lawyer Today
Dividing assets and debts in a divorce can be complicated, but our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you through this difficult time. Contact us today at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation with our Kane County divorce attorneys. We are here to guide you!