One of the most difficult parts of a divorce can be the dividing of the marital property. Before the work of dividing the assets can even be started, the assets must be assigned a proper value.
How Marital Property Is Handled
Illinois considers all property, with extremely limited exceptions, acquired after the date of the marriage to be marital property. Unless the two sides come to an agreement on their own, the law requires the court to divide marital property equitably in a divorce. This means taking into account all of the relevant factors and dividing the property fairly. It is important to understand that “fairly” does not always mean “equally.”
How Much of the Value of an Asset Is Marital Property?
Some assets, such as a business or retirement account, may have been acquired before the marriage. However, most likely any increase in value to these assets after the date of the marriage may be considered marital property.
Before the property can be properly divided, the value of the portion of the asset that is marital property must be calculated. Doing so often requires the assistance of financial professionals who are familiar with such calculations.
Having the Correct Value Is Critical
Regardless of whether you and your spouse are able to agree on a property division or not, it is critical that you know the correct value of all the assets. Only when you have this data can you make an informed decision about what is in your best interest.
This may mean that you need to know what the value of some assets were on the day before the marriage, the value of the assets today, and the amount the assets have increased in value during the marriage. You will also want to make sure every asset and liability is taken into account. If the other side offers with an incorrect valuation, you will want to the evidence to prove the actual value of the asset.
Tracking Down Wasted and Hidden Assets
Sometimes part of valuing an asset requires tracking down money that has been hidden or wasted. If the other spouse has misused a marital asset in a way that harms its value, you may have a right to be compensated for that loss of value. A proper valuation of assets can also be an important step in uncovering evidence of hidden assets.
If you are considering filing for divorce, or you believe your spouse may be considering filing for divorce, you need to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorney. Call the Andrew Cores Family Law Group at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation today.