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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County high asset divorce lawyerIt is safe to say that a divorce is rarely easy. While some are obviously much more challenging than others, the fact remains that a divorce marks the end of a what was once—in most cases—a union between two people who loved each other a great deal. Of course, severing the bond between you and your spouse is only part of the equation, as the divorce process also requires you to make decisions regarding your property and finances, as well as your children, if you have them. Couples who have accumulated a significant amount of wealth during the marriage—along with those who brought substantial assets into the marriage—may be faced with additional complications along the way.

A Complete Accounting

One of the biggest issues in a high-asset divorce is the possibility that one or both spouses may not be completely forthcoming regarding his or her financial situation. When a couple owns relatively few assets, compiling a list of what you have is fairly easy. It is still possible for a spouse to be deceptive and to hide assets or revenue sources, but doing so typically requires intentional behavior by that party.

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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.

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Naperville divorce attorneysIf you and your spouse are headed for divorce, you know that you will be expected to divide your marital property between the two of you. While you may not know for sure how that will play out, you may already be thinking about who—if either of you—will keep the marital home, who will get which car, and how to split the household furniture. In the stress and confusion of the divorce process, however, you may be forgetting about a very important—and possibly very valuable—asset of which you may be entitled a portion. Experts say that retirement accounts are the most commonly overlooked assets in a divorce case.

Retirement Savings and Plans

Before marital property can be divided, both you and your spouse should provide one another with a full accounting of all of your assets and debts, even if you think he or she already knows about them. In some cases, this may require a few calls to old employers inquiring about the status of employer-funded retirement programs or plans. You may realize that you have forgotten about a 401(k) plan or similar account that was opened years ago. The same may be true for your spouse, and the money in such accounts, depending on when the accounts were funded, may be considered part of the marital estate.

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