Division of Asset Obstacles and How to Overcome Them
Regardless of how much or how little you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse own, the division of assets in the divorce process can significantly impact your financial standing after your marriage is over. Whether you need to look out for your own well-being or you have additional family members to care for after the separation, money matters. What you and your spouse split and how you split it will be a defining factor in the overall quality of your long-term financial security.
Where Asset Division Can Get Tricky
Some couples make the mistake of believing that the most important factor in the division of assets is the flat dollar value. Whatever something is worth must determine its overall value and it should simply be divided evenly, right? This is not always the case. When it comes to most assets, their worth must be based on more than just their dollar value. For example, you must take into account factors such as an asset’s liquidity as well as how its sale will be affected by taxes. The long-term worth of a piece of property is just as important as its immediate worth.
Types of Property
The definition of property in regards to divorce can vary from state to state, but it is typically considered either separate property or marital property. This is often a crucial area for spouses to understand as they begin asset division in the divorce process because it usually causes the most confusion.
In short, all property that is acquired during the course of the marriage is considered marital property, while anything that was acquired prior to the marriage is deemed separate property. Separate property can include a house that was owned by a spouse before the marriage or a gift or inheritance that was received by either spouse before marriage. According to Illinois law, the state considers marital property to be any and all property acquired by either spouse subsequent to marriage. This includes debts and all other financial obligations.
It might sound simple initially, but wading through the details to determine what is marital property and what is separate according to state law can be a challenge. For example, some property that is considered separate can actually lose its status and become marital property later on if you involve your spouse in some way. An inheritance that was originally given to you can end up being considered marital property if you deposited any of that inheritance into the joint bank account you share with your spouse.
Due to the fact that it can be very difficult to discern the value of your assets, identify who has rights to what, and figure out the best way to properly divide them, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable Kane County divorce attorney who can help ensure you are handling the division of your property correctly and efficiently. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C. today at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.