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IL divorce lawyerThe division of property and debt is often one of the most important aspects of divorce. If you are ending your marriage, you may have questions about how your shared assets will be divided between you and your spouse. If you are like many soon-to-be-divorced people, you are especially concerned with ownership of the family home. Your house, condominium, or other residence is not only a valuable asset in the financial sense, it is also valuable for sentimental and personal reasons. If you are a parent, the family home may also represent stability and familiarity to your children. Understandably, the question of who gets the house is often one of the top concerns in a divorce case.

Illinois Law Regarding the Marital Home

The court does not always allocate marital assets in a divorce. In most cases, the spouses are able to reach a property division settlement outside of court with help from their attorneys. Some couples decide to sell the home and divide the profits from the sale evenly. Other couples decide that one spouse will keep the home while the other spouse keeps property of equivalent value.

However, if a couple does not reach an agreement, property is allocated according to the rules set forth by Illinois law. Illinois courts allocate marital property to spouses in a manner that is equitable, or fair, according to the spouses’ financial circumstances, employability, child custody arrangements, and other factors.

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naperville divorce lawyerWhen a couple has decided to divorce, part of that process involves dividing their assets and debts in an equitable manner. As you go through and list the assets you and your spouse have, one asset that you may overlook are any retirement accounts either of you may have. Illinois recognizes retirement funds accumulated during the marriage as marital assets, so they become part of the marital estate and are divisible in the divorce.

Dividing Retirement Accounts

The division of retirement accounts can be complex because of the federal and state laws and regulations that may apply. There is also the issue of ownership of the funds that are in the account. Any funds that were accumulated in a retirement account prior to the couples marriage is considered separate property and does not become part of the divorce settlement. It is only the funds that accumulated while the couple were married that are distributable. This is why it is important to have a skilled Naperville divorce attorney representing you, to ensure your best interests are protected.

Ideally, the spouses will agree to offset assets and the retirement account will maintain intact. For example, one spouse may agree to take sole ownership of a vacation property the couple owns that has the same value of the other spouse’s retirement account. If both spouses have retirement accounts, then another option is that they agree that they will each keep their own accounts separate from the marital estate and any divorce settlement.

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Oak Brook asset dissipation attorneyThanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping is more popular than ever. Shoppers can purchase thousands of dollars of new items with a just few clicks - all from the comfort of their own home. Unfortunately, online shopping can sometimes develop into a full-blown addiction. Studies show that approximately 5-8 percent of Americans suffer from compulsive shopping or shopping addiction. If your spouse is a compulsive shopper, it is essential that you take steps to protect yourself and your finances during divorce.

Shopping Addiction Can Lead to Severe Financial Consequences

When most people hear the terms “addiction” or “addict,” they think of substance abuse or alcoholism. However, shopping addiction is a very real phenomenon that can have devastating implications. Individuals struggling with shopping addiction or compulsive buying disorder often recognize that they are spending much more than they can afford, but they are unable to stop the behavior. They may max out credit cards, sell items of great financial or sentimental value, or even resort to shoplifting to fulfill the compulsion. The financial and personal consequences of shopping addiction can be dramatic.

How to Protect yourself When Divorcing a Compulsive Shopper

Because divorce is quite stressful, and compulsive shoppers often cope with stress by shopping, it is possible that this behavior will escalate. Whether your spouse suffers from compulsive shopping or simply makes unwise financial decisions, protecting your finances during your divorce is crucial.

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Elmhurst divorce attorney for business asset divisionOwning your own business can be a rewarding career choice. However, being a business owner can significantly complicate the division of assets during divorce. If you or your spouse own a business, and you want to end your marriage, it is essential that you understand how business ownership is dealt with in an Illinois divorce. An attorney experienced in handling complex divorce cases can provide personalized guidance about your rights and responsibilities regarding business ownership.

Is the Business Considered Marital Property or Non-Marital Property?

When a couple marries, their property and debt usually becomes intermixed. Determining which assets and liabilities belong to the marital estate and which are owned by an individual spouse is often quite complicated. As a general rule, property, including businesses, acquired before the marriage are classified as non-marital property. The spouse who originally owned the asset retains the rights to that asset during divorce. Both spouses have a right to property obtained during the marriage. A non-marital business can become marital property if marital funds were used to finance the business. A business can also become part of the marital estate if the non-owner spouse contributed to the business’s growth or success.

It is important to note that the rules determining property classification during divorce can be overridden by a valid prenuptial agreement. If you designated your business as non-marital property in your prenup or other marital agreement, this designation will likely be upheld during your divorce. The main exception to this occurs when a marital agreement contains mistakes or oversights that make the document invalid.

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Wheaton asset division attorney for financial restraining ordersYou have worked hard for the assets you own, so it is understandable that you would want to protect those assets from being misused or wasted. Protecting property during divorce is something that many spouses do not think about until it is too late. Although remedies are available for spouses who have suffered financial harm due to the other spouse’s financial recklessness during divorce, preventing wasteful spending is a better strategy than mitigating it after the fact. One way to protect funds and other property during divorce is to get a financial restraining order.

Stop Wasteful Spending or Intentional Destruction of Property

As most divorced people can tell you, the process of ending a marriage can sometimes bring out the worst side of people. If you are getting divorced, you may have concerns about your spouse’s financial decisions. You may be worried that he or she will carelessly spend money, sell property to finance an addiction, or otherwise make ill-informed financial decisions. You may even worry that your spouse will destroy your property or intentionally waste money to “get back at you.” A financial restraining order can help prevent this from happening.

A Temporary Financial Restraining Order Can Protect Your Assets

When most people hear “restraining order” they assume that the order is intended to prevent domestic violence or stalking. However, a financial restraining order has nothing to do with physical abuse. A temporary financial restraining order is used to prevent spouses from reckless spending or wasting marital assets during divorce. When spouses are subject to a temporary restraining order, they are prohibited from transferring, hiding, borrowing against assets, or otherwise disposing of property outside of typical financial transactions needed for everyday life. A financial restraining order will not prevent spouses from buying groceries or paying their bills, but it can prevent them from making large, unusual purchases, selling marital assets, or making other atypical financial decisions.

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