location 166 W. Washington St., Ste. 400, Chicago, IL 60602
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George Skuros
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phone 312-884-1222

Chicago Marital Property Division Attorney

Arlington Heights marital asset division lawyer

Chicago Divorce Lawyer For Dividing Assets and Debts in Cook County

Often, one of the most challenging aspects of the divorce process is the division of marital property. Other issues may have a stronger emotional impact, but the division of assets and debts will have an undeniable effect on your financial situation, both now and in the future. The process only becomes more complex when you and your spouse have accumulated a wide variety of assets of significant value over many years, making it difficult to know where to begin the process of distributing them between the two of you.

If you want to be sure that your financial interests are protected and that you have the best chance of maintaining possession of the properties that are most important to you, you should hire a knowledgeable divorce attorney. At The Law Offices of George J. Skuros, we have more than 30 years of family law experience, and we will help you set realistic expectations regarding the property outcomes in your divorce and work diligently to help you meet them.

Property Division Considerations in an Illinois Divorce

One of the most important matters to address when dividing assets in a divorce is whether or not certain properties are included in the marital estate. Most assets and debts held by each party individually before the marriage are considered non-marital property, except in some cases in which the properties have been commingled during the marriage. Assets acquired by one party during the marriage by way of a gift or inheritance, in exchange for other non-marital property, or through a judgment awarding property from one spouse to the other, may also be considered non-marital. Non-marital property also includes items designated as such in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or acquired by one of the parties after a legal separation.

Most other assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of whether they were acquired together or separately, are considered marital property that will need to be divided. Under Illinois law, marital property does not necessarily have to be divided equally, but the court will attempt to distribute it equitably based on a number of factors, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse, including their assets, income, education, and earning capacity
  • The age, health, and financial needs of each spouse
  • The contributions of each spouse to the acquisition of property during the marriage
  • Child custody agreements regarding the couple's children
  • Any dissipation of marital assets on the part of either spouse

The court will also often consider an agreement that you and your spouse have reached as part of an uncontested divorce, as long as it does not put one of the parties at a clear and unfair disadvantage.

What Assets and Debts Can Be Divided?

Some of the common properties you may need to divide in your divorce include:

  • Real estate property: For many couples, the marital home is the asset with the most value. Depending on the circumstances, the home may be awarded to one party, or it may be sold, with the proceeds distributed to both parties. Vacation, rental, and investment properties belonging to the couple will also need to be divided.
  • Physical property: Vehicles, furniture, jewelry, artwork, and other household items are also important to consider in the division of assets, whether because they have a high dollar value or they hold personal significance for one or both parties.
  • Bank accounts: Assets contributed to checking and savings accounts during your marriage are also likely subject to division in your divorce, as are assets in investment accounts.
  • Retirement savings: Many retirement accounts, even those funded partially by one spouse's employer, are considered marital property, and dividing these assets may require special considerations to avoid tax consequences or early withdrawal penalties.
  • Business property: Businesses started or acquired by either spouse during the marriage, including family-owned businesses in which both spouses have an interest, are some of the most complicated assets to divide. It is important to obtain a business valuation before finalizing your agreement in order to understand the value of business assets.
  • Debts: Mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, and student loans acquired during the marriage may also need to be divided equitably. In this case, it may be important to refinance certain loans or take other steps to ensure you are no longer liable for a debt allocated to your spouse.

Contact a Schaumburg Asset Division Lawyer

Preparing for the division of property with an experienced attorney is crucial when it comes to protecting your financial interests. For a free consultation, contact us today at 312-884-1222. We represent clients in Chicago, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Inverness, and throughout the Northwest Suburbs, the North Shore, Cook County, and the surrounding areas.

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