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Naperville family lawyerAsset division is by far the most complex part of divorce for many people, and this is only magnified if a family business is involved. In order to get an accurate estimation of a business’s value for purposes of the marital estate, professionals are often utilized. Even after a value is obtained, however, the business can still be a cause of disagreement.

Different Approaches to Valuation

Depending on the nature of the business, its actual worth may be determined by using one of three different methods. The first is simply listing all available assets, including those of physical and intellectual nature and personnel. This is the best approach for companies that are very young—usually those just barely making a profit. The second is the market approach, which is most often used by valuation professionals and involves estimating the future earning potential of a company by its place in the market. The third is referred to as income valuation, and it involves estimating future potential and then adjusting downward to arrive at current values.

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Naperville divorce lawyerA trend that has become more apparent with each passing year in the last decade is the rising divorce rate for couples over the age of 55. The overall divorce rate in the United States has continued to drop over the last several years, after years of decline, but the rate for seniors has steadily increased. It is important to be able to spot the signs in your own marriage, and if divorce happens, to be able to adjust to it with minimal pain.

Statistics and Trends

The U.S. Census’ American Community Survey reports that since 1990, the so-called “gray divorce” rate has almost tripled, going from one in 10 to approximately 28 percent of recent divorcees being over the age of 55. Given that the nationwide trend has been to stay married, it is worth noting the significant uptick in older couples separating. This is especially true considering that divorce has been linked to potential health issues, financial strain, and other problems that can pose significant risks for those over a certain age.

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Naperville family law attorneyWhen you are in the middle of a divorce, property division can always become an issue regardless of how amicable the proceedings have been to that point. Both spouses in a marriage deserve their fair share of the marital assets - though “fair” does not always mean “equal” - but it is not uncommon for one spouse to waste or lose marital assets through profligacy. Known as dissipation, this behavior can have consequences to both spouses. It is generally a good idea to know what dissipation looks like, so you may be able to call it out if necessary.

Legal Definitions

Illinois has actually been one of the leading states in defining what exactly constitutes dissipation, and what the criteria to establish such a thing should be. As far back as 1990, Illinois had a working definition of dissipation from the case of In Re Marriage of O’Neill. Dissipation is not simply waste; it is defined as “the use of marital property by one spouse, for their benefit, for a purpose completely unrelated to the marriage, at a time when the marriage is undergoing an irreversible breakdown.”

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