It seems like a million things need your attention when you’re going through a divorce. The inherent complexity of the divorce process puts an emotional strain on everyone involved. One of the primary drivers of tension involves financial concerns.
How you choose to protect your assets will be a key consideration as you move forward. You’ll need to know what will happen to the real estate portfolio that you and your ex-spouse amassed together throughout your marriage. Can you decide what happens to the property between you or does the court need to intervene?
Parties can decide without the court’s involvement
In Illinois, separating couples are free to decide for themselves how to distribute their joint assets after a divorce. This can be accomplished by either opting to sell up completely or dividing their assets between themselves in any manner of their choosing.
If a divorcing couple is about to come to a mutual agreement about how their marital estate will be divided, each spouse’s attorney can draft, review and work to finalize a corresponding Property Settlement Agreement so that there will be no need for judicial involvement.
Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state
If the parties are unable to come to an agreement over how to divide their assets, they may ask the court to step in. In Illinois, the division of marital property must be equitable. This does not necessarily mean that it must be divided evenly; rather, the court must decide what is fair. It will consider a number of elements, including the duration of the marriage and the level of income earned by each person.
First off, it’s crucial to understand that the court will only take into account jointly-owned property. If the parties cannot agree in re: whether property, like a rental home, is part of the marital estate or not, a classification process will be used to determine whether it is owned separately or jointly.
The next step before the court reaches a decision is a valuation of all the assets in question. The assets can potentially be divided among the parties involved or sold and the proceeds shared.
Protecting your rights when divorcing can be complex, especially when there’s a lot at stake. The process can be made so much easier when you have the right support in place.