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Assets That Complicate Property Distribution in an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on March 17, 2021 in Division of Property in Illinois

Plainfield, IL divorce attorney asset division

Society typically focuses on the romantic aspects of marriage. However, the joining of two lives through marriage is not only a romantic union, it is also a legal and financial union. Determining how marital property should be divided between the spouses is often one of the most complicated parts of the divorce process. This is especially true if the spouses own complex assets or have a high net worth. If you are preparing for a divorce in Illinois, it is important to know how certain assets may complicate the process.

Small Businesses

If you or your spouse own a business, this may complicate your divorce significantly. In Illinois, only marital property is divided during a divorce. Separate property, meaning property that a spouse owned before getting married, is not divided. However, it is possible for a business that was acquired before marriage to be “transmuted” or transformed into marital property. If you acquired a company during the marriage or you owned a company before getting married but your spouse contributed time or money into growing the business, he or she may be entitled to an equitable share of the company. Often, a spouse who wishes to retain sole ownership of a business “buys out” the other spouse’s portion of the business by giving up assets of a similar value. Before a business may be divided in a divorce, the identity and the value of the business must be determined.

Certain Assets Are Hard to Value or Fluctuate in Value

Some assets are hard to divide during divorce because determining the value of the asset is difficult. Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum is an alternative form of payment that has skyrocketed in popularity recently. The value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fluctuates dramatically and there are several different methods of determining its value. Retirement plans – especially pensions or defined benefit plans – are often difficult to value as well. Real estate, investments, stocks, and intellectual property may also be hard to value.

Heirlooms and Items of Sentimental Value

Family heirlooms and other property with intangible or sentimental value is another issue that may add contention to an Illinois divorce. These items may not have great worth financially, but they are valuable to a spouse for personal reasons. Dogs, cats, and other pets are often considered beloved members of the family; however, pets are classified as property per Illinois law. Heated arguments over the ownership of pets and other property of personal or sentimental significance are not uncommon during a divorce.

Contact a Joliet Property Division Lawyer

If you or your spouse own complex assets like investments, stocks, businesses, cryptocurrency, retirement accounts, or real estate, it is likely that these assets will complicate property division during your Illinois divorce. A highly skilled Will County divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help you negotiate a property division settlement or, if needed, advocate on your behalf during litigation. Call 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to schedule a free consultation.



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