An important part of every Illinois divorce is the marital property division arrangement. Ideally, spouses work together to devise a plan that allows both spouses to protect their interests and priorities. However, this is easier said than done. When both spouses have sentimental attachments to objects or when one spouse has an object collection of great financial worth, dividing ownership of these objects can become quite complicated. If you are thinking about divorce in Illinois and you want to protect your collectors’ items, read on.
Are My Collectibles Marital Property?
Spouses who have spent years or even decades collecting items may feel strongly that these belongings are their personal property and should not be marital property. But years of hard work invested in growing a collection does not mean it belongs exclusively to the collector if items were purchased with marital funds, and, unfortunately, both spouses’ incomes are considered marital property. An exception to this may be if a spouse bought an item and gave it as a gift to the other spouse; in this case, proving that the item was a gift may still be difficult.
Valuing Collections and Collectors’ Items
The next step in determining what will happen to collectibles in a divorce is accurately assessing the value of these items. Valuation experts are often helpful when items are unique, expensive, or difficult to compare to other items. For example, a one-of-a-kind baseball card can be hard to value when similar items are not available for comparison. In this case, a valuation expert will try to assess the fair market value of an item using special techniques and the help of other professional appraisers.
Negotiating a Fair Marital Property Division
Spouses who can work together to divide their marital property are usually much more satisfied with the outcome than if they leave this decision to a judge. Using a mediator and the help of their attorneys, spouses are encouraged to set their priorities, communicate clearly, and compromise when necessary so they can each meet their needs. If it is very important to a spouse to keep a collection that is worth a significant amount of money, he or she will likely need to compensate the other spouse with other marital assets.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Wheaton, IL Divorce Lawyer
People are often very attached to collector’s items and may be understandably worried about what will happen to their valuable belongings in a divorce. For help navigating the division of marital property in your divorce, contact the experienced Wheaton, IL divorce lawyers with Andrew Cores Family Law Group. We will do our best to work with you and your spouse to create a property division plan that protects the things that are most important to you. Call us now at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free case review.