Our Illinois property division lawyers regularly deal with complex financial cases and are well qualified to find, categorize, value, and achieve the best property divisions for our clients.
Once married, couples often share assets with each other. Whether this is legally owned property or a joint bank account, it’s not uncommon for both parties to claim ownership. However, property division during a divorce is much more complicated than simply splitting everything down the middle.
Before parties can divide property, they first must discover it. An intense research process dives deep to uncover and document each asset that needs consideration. Parties may volunteer this information up front, but in some cases, a skilled property division lawyer may facilitate a thorough investigation on behalf of their client. Either way, they will lay out any asset owned by either party for evaluation.
Marital Property vs. Non-Marital Property
Illinois law does not follow a “what’s mine is yours” philosophy when it comes to property division. The division of assets depends on whether it is marital or non-marital. The key differentiating factor is when the individual acquired the property. For example, if one party bought a home prior to the marriage, then it falls under the non-marital category. If that same party bought a home during the marriage, then it’s marital, even if the home is only in one party’s name. Exceptions to this general guideline include gifts or inheritances.
The distinction between marital and non-marital property is not always this easy, and some parties may fight to retain full ownership of assets that should be joint property. That’s why it’s important to have a competent property division lawyer in Illinois. At Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, we employ investigative skills to ensure we discover all property and categorize it.
An asset’s value can be key during divorce proceedings. In many cases, the court will allocate certain assets to each party, rather than dividing every asset in half. To ensure fair and equitable division, they must know the property’s value. It’s also important to note that in Illinois, a 50/50 division is not always valid. Other circumstances may weigh one party’s entitlements as heavier than others.
One factor that the Illinois courts are prohibited from considering is fault. Whether the marriage ends due to marital misconduct, cruelty, or desertion, these circumstances cannot affect judgement.
Schiller DuCanto & Fleck’s Illinois property division lawyers are well-versed in asset discovery, categorization, and valuation during a divorce. We assist clients in Chicago, Lake Forest, and Wheaton. Contact us today to request a consultation.