DuPage County property division lawyer for business valuationIn an Illinois divorce, a wide range of assets can be considered marital property, which must be equitably distributed between spouses. This includes joint bank accounts and many properties that you may consider to be part of the household, including the home itself, vehicles, furniture, and more.

However, marital property also likely includes privately owned businesses and other properties owned in only one spouse’s name, provided that they were founded or acquired during the marriage. When you or your spouse have significant business assets, it is important that you understand how the division of property may work in your divorce.

Valuing Marital Business Assets in Illinois

If you have business assets that you want to protect in your divorce, you should first determine whether any of them may be excluded from the marital estate. Businesses that you owned prior to your marriage may be considered non-marital property, especially if they were designated as such in a prenuptial agreement. Businesses purchased with money from a gift or inheritance specifically in your name may also be considered non-marital assets.


DuPage County divorce lawyer for retirement account divisionWhen you decide to get a divorce, you may be surprised to learn that retirement accounts, including IRAs, 401(k)s, and pensions, are usually considered marital property and are therefore subject to division, regardless of whose name the account is under. This can be especially challenging for older couples who have often accumulated significant savings and are planning to retire in the near future. In order to protect your retirement savings, it is important to hire an experienced attorney who can help you minimize losses during the divorce process.

Keeping Retirement Funds Safe During the Divorce Process

With the assistance of an attorney, there are several actions you can take to protect your retirement savings in the event of a divorce, including:

  • Establishing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement: If you have significant retirement savings before getting married, it may be beneficial to create a prenuptial agreement with your partner that clarifies what will happen to those funds in a divorce. You can also modify your prenuptial agreement or create a postnuptial agreement during your marriage as your financial circumstances change.


Wheaton high asset divorce lawyerIf you are not paying close attention to you and your spouse’s finances leading up to your divorce, during your divorce, and after your divorce, you might overlook hidden assets. It is important to keep an eye on your finances to be sure that you are receiving a fair and equitable divorce settlement. Never is this truer than during a complex divorce or a high-asset divorce. In other words, the more property and assets you have as a couple, the greater the likelihood that one or both of you might be hiding these assets. In order to be vigilant about potential hidden assets in your divorce, you need to be aware of some of the most common ways spouses can attempt to hide assets. 

5 Typical Ways Spouses Hide Assets

While some ways spouses hide assets are not very clever at all, many of them can actually be quite creative, so much so that to the untrained eye, they might make it through the divorce unnoticed. In that sense, you will want to hire a knowledgeable legal team, including a forensic accountant and maybe even a private investigator to verify all financial records. To help sharpen your hunches with regards to hidden assets, here are some typical ways spouses tend to hide assets during divorces:

  1. Loans to Family and Friends — Your spouse might “lend” friends or family money with the secret understanding that such funds will be returned after the divorce is finalized.


Posted on in Division of Assets

digital assets, Wheaton divorce lawyersWhen two people elect to end their marriage through the divorce process, one of the most important issues that must be settled is how the couple will divide their marital property. If you are considering a divorce, you have probably considered questions such as, “Who will keep our home?” and, “Will I get a fair portion of our retirement savings?” In today’s world, however, more couples than ever before also have digital assets in addition to physical property, and it is important to know how digital assets are treated in a divorce.

What Are Digital Assets?

While the term “digital assets” may be unfamiliar to you, you probably own many things that would qualify as digital assets. Digital assets include e-books, electronically stored versions of songs, and downloadable content. Most digital property has no physical representation of the property in question. Consider, for example, music stored in your iTunes library or the apps on your smartphone. They do not exist anywhere else in the physical world, so they are classified as digital assets.


marital property, Wheaton divorce lawyersWhen you decide to pursue a divorce, there are many things to consider. You will need to decide on arrangements for your children, whether to ask for spousal support, and which of you will get to keep certain items that you bought together. But, what about assets that are only titled in your name? Do you automatically get to keep those? The answer is more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no” and requires a more complete understanding of Illinois’ laws regarding marital and non-marital property.

Equitable Distribution

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), the marital property of a couple going through a divorce must be divided in a manner that is fair and just, not necessarily equally. This standard is known as “equitable distribution,” and it is used in 41 states plus the District of Columbia. Before marital property can be divided, however, the couple—or the court—must determine which assets are considered to be marital property.


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