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The Importance of Marital Asset Valuation

Posted on in Division of Assets

Naperville divorce lawyerDividing a couple’s marital property is often one of the most complex aspects of a divorce. Before the work of dividing the assets can even be started, the cumulative value of the marital estate must be determined as well as that of each asset.

How Marital Property is Divided

Illinois considers all property, with very few exceptions, acquired after the date of the marriage to be marital property. Unless the two sides can reach an agreement on their own, Illinois law requires the court to divide the property equitably. Doing so involves examining all of the relevant factors and dividing the property in a manner that is fair and just, not necessarily equally.

Evaluating Complex Assets

Some assets, such as a business or retirement account, may have been established before the marriage. During the marriage, such accounts most likely increased in value. These increases—beginning with the date of the marriage—are generally considered to be marital property.

Before the property can be properly divided, the value of the portion of the asset that is marital property must be calculated. Outside business or financial experts may be needed to help determine the appropriate value of each portion of an investment portfolio, retirement account, or business interest.

Proper Valuation Is Critical

Regardless of whether you and your spouse are able to agree on a property division settlement, it is crucial that you know the correct value of all the assets. Only when you have this data can you make an informed decision about what is in your best interest.

This may mean that you need to determine the value of your assets on the day before the marriage, the value of the assets today, and the amount the assets have increased in value during the marriage. You will also want to make sure every asset and liability is taken into account. If the other side comes up with an incorrect valuation, you will need evidence to prove the actual value of the asset.

Tracking Down Wasted and Hidden Assets

Sometimes, part of valuing an asset requires tracking down money that has been hidden or wasted. If the other spouse has misused a marital asset in a way that harms its value, you may have a right to be compensated for that loss of value. A proper valuation of assets can also be an important step in uncovering evidence of hidden assets.

If you are considering filing for divorce or you believe your spouse may be considering filing for divorce, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer. Call Pesce Law Group, P.C. at 630-352-2240 for a free consultation. We will work with you in ensuring that your rights are fully protected throughout the divorce process.


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