Property Division

Complex Property Division

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Oak Brook Complex Property Division Lawyer Serving the Chicagoland Area

Divorces can be complicated for many reasons, the most common being issues surrounding children. However, the division of assets can also make this process difficult. Property division can be one of the most highly contested issues that need to be resolved in a divorce case. When complex property, multiple assets or substantial wealth are involved, it is essential that you hire a skilled Oak Brook divorce attorney who has experience handling divorces of this nature.

Illinois: An Equitable Distribution State 

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (I.M.D.M.A), governs the division of property in this state. The law requires an equitable distribution of marital property. This does not mean that the marital assets must be divided equally.  This is a common misconception.  In many divorces, the final property allocation will be even or close to a fifty-fifty division.  Yet in many other divorces, an equitable property division will favor one spouse (i.e., one spouse receives sixty percent of the marital assets).  Property division is based on many factors in a divorce, such as the income of each party and the assets they have in their possession. It is crucial to remember that only marital property is subject to asset division. In general, marital property doesn’t include:

  • Property acquired before the marriage
  • Property received in exchange for property acquired before the marriage
  • Property given as a gift to only one spouse
  • Property inherited by only one spouse
  • Property received in exchange for property acquired by gift or inheritance
  • Property obtained by either spouse after a judgment of legal separation
  • Property not available for distribution as per a binding premarital or post-marital agreement
  • Property related to a legal judgment awarded to one spouse
  • The increase in the value of non-marital property during the marriage

If you are unsure whether a specific asset is marital or non-marital, whether owned by you or your spouse, meet with a knowledgeable Oak Brook divorce lawyer who will help you determine what is marital property and what is not. If this is done incorrectly, you could lose out on property that is rightfully yours.

What Property Makes a Divorce More Complex?

Complex property divorces typically involve property or assets that are especially problematic to value, or a substantial amount of marital, separate, and commingled property that can make it challenging to classify assets and debts. Some of the most common complex property division cases we handle involve:

  • Pension plans – When one spouse accrues retirement benefits during the divorce, the other spouse may be entitled to a portion of those benefits, even if they cannot be accessed yet.
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) – This can be particularly tricky to divide if the employer contributed to the plan on behalf of one spouse during the marriage.
  • Stock options – Illinois law presumes that all stock options granted during the marriage are marital property, but this can be overcome by submitting evidence that the stock options were a gift or inheritance.
  • Real estate – This can include a primary residence, vacation home, or rental property that is difficult to evaluate.
  • Business ownership – Determining the value of a business can be complex, and somewhat subjective. Former spouses may be required to buy out the other party or reach an agreement for co-ownership, among other options.

In any of these situations, it is essential that you have a knowledgeable Oak Brook divorce attorney on your side. Your case may require the expertise of other professionals, such as forensic accountants or valuation experts. Your attorney can help you involve these experts when necessary.

Contact an Oak Brook Property Division Lawyer

In a divorce with significant or complex assets, there is a lot at stake. If you don’t have the appropriate legal counsel, you could be gambling with your future financial security. If you are going through a divorce and need assistance with any phase of the property distribution process, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced Oak Brook divorce attorney at Goodman Law Firm LLC. Contact us today to schedule your complex asset divorce consultation.

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