The division of a couple’s marital property is often the most complicated part of their divorce. Even between couples who only have a few assets, like a home and a small savings account, the court must consider numerous factors to determine the most appropriate way to divide these assets. In Illinois, a divorcing couple’s property is divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution.
The more assets a couple has, the longer it takes to divide their property. With complicated assets, the process can take even longer. Complicated assets can include those with fluctuating values, those that provide one or both parties with a source of income, and those that were obtained prior to the marriage but developed, thus increasing their value, during the marriage.
Examples of assets that can complicate the property division process include:
An easy way to make the property division process more straightforward is to sign a prenuptial agreement before marrying. This document can determine which assets remain singly-held and how marital assets are to be divided in the event of a divorce. A legal separation agreement can be use to officially divide assets before a divorce. Certain assets may be divided through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which names additional beneficiaries to an account to allow funds within to be disbursed to them.
When one spouse tries to hide assets from the other in an effort to keep him or her from receiving a share of them, the property division process can become much more complicated. Spouses who suspect their partners are hiding assets are urged to be proactive and work with forensic accountants to find any hidden assets. Allowing an asset to stay hidden is cheating oneself out of receiving his or her fair share of the marital assets.
Work with a divorce lawyer who can help you make the property division process in your divorce as simple as possible. When you are facing one or more of the issues discussed above, expect to spend more time and mental energy on your property division than you would otherwise. To discuss the specific issues at play in your divorce, contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC today to set up your initial consultation with us.