Complex Property Division

Division

Family Law Attorney Serving Clients with Complex Property Division in Illinois Divorces

Property division in a divorce can be extremely complicated for a wide variety of reasons. Many high asset divorces or high net worth divorces involve a substantial amount of property that requires valuation experts to determine the worth of the objects and how they might be distributed. In other cases, spouses might have assets that are especially difficult to value, such as pieces of artwork or other collectibles. And in yet other situations still, married couples can have a significant amount of marital, separate, and commingled property that can make it difficult to classify assets and debts.

If you are going through a divorce and need assistance with any phase of the property distribution process, an experienced Illinois complex property division attorney can help with your case.

Equitable Distribution of Property in Illinois

Property division in Illinois is governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (I.M.D.M.A). Under Illinois law, property division happens under a theory of equitable distribution. This means that the court will divide marital property in a way that is equitable—or fair—to both parties. In certain cases, this could mean that the property is divided equally between the spouses, but it is important to remember that equitable does not necessarily mean an equal division of assets. As such, property division can vary based on the facts of the case, income of the parties, and other assets in their possession. 

Only marital property, which includes both assets and debts, can be divided. For many couples, property division is complex because of the high value of property, but also because of the disputed classification of certain property. Separate property is not subject to division in a divorce.

Classifying Marital and Separate Property in a High Net Worth Divorce

In a high net worth divorce in Illinois, as well as in other divorces, only marital property can be divided. As such, the court must classify marital property and separate property (or non-marital property). Generally speaking, the following types of property can be classified as separate or non-marital property in a divorce:

  • Property acquired prior to the marriage;
  • Property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage;
  • Property acquired by a gift to only one of the spouses;
  • Property inherited by only one of the spouses;
  • Property acquired in exchange for property acquired by gift or inheritance;
  • Property acquired by either spouse after a judgment of legal separation; and
  • Property excluded from distribution through a valid premarital agreement;
  • Judgment awarded to one spouse; and
  • Increase in value of non-marital property during the marriage.

There may be other types of property that can be classified as non-marital property, as well.  In order to protect your assets, you should speak with an Illinois complex property division attorney.

Commingled Property in an Illinois Divorce

One of the most common reasons for complex property division situations is commingled property. In other words, when one of the spouses uses separate property to benefit the marriage or mixes the separate non-marital property directly with marital property in a bank account, the separate property becomes commingled.

In some cases, the court can trace the amount of marital and non-marital property, but this is often a complicated process.

Contact an Illinois Property Division Attorney

Are you getting divorced and have questions about property division? An experienced complex property division attorney in Illinois can assist you. Contact the law office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. today.

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