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DuPage County divorce attorneyIn many divorce cases, determining how property will be divided is among the most challenging aspects. It can be extremely difficult to decide if who will get what, especially if neither spouse brought substantial property to marriage in the first place. If you are considering a divorce, it is important to know what the law says about dividing your marital property.

Step One: What Is Divisible?

The first step in allocating property in a divorce is to determine what assets or debts are considered part of the marital estate. With very limited exceptions for inheritances and gifts to one spouse, almost any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered marital property and is subject to division. Property that each spouse owned prior to the marriage will generally not be divisible and will remain with the spouse who owned it previously. As with any rule, there are exceptions, but for the most part, if you obtained an asset or debt while you were married, it is part of the marital estate.

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Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneyUnless you have been through a divorce already, anticipating what the process could be like is difficult. Most people do not have experience with the legal system, meaning that divorce is often their first foray into the legal world. This lack of knowledge can make deciding whether to divorce or not difficult. Friends, family members, and other acquaintances may offer you information or advice on the divorce process, but there is a likelihood that some of what they tell you is wrong. Myths about divorce can be damaging. They can lead people to making unwise decisions, or taking actions that they may regret. Instead of taking the advice of friends and family, it is always beneficial to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. A qualified attorney can review your case, fill you in on how the process works, and respond to your questions, and help bust the many myths about divorce. In the meantime, here are a few common divorce myths and the truth behind them.

Myth: You Do Not Need to Hire a Lawyer

Are you technically able to represent yourself in a divorce? Yes. Should you? Definitely not. While some people do attempt to represent themselves, or choose alternatives like divorcing through an app or computer program, these options leave plenty of room for error. Instead, it is always recommended to have the help of an experienced divorce attorney. If you believe you are unable to pay for legal representation, you may be able to require your spouse to pay for your legal fees to ensure that both of you are represented adequately.

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debt, debt division, Illinois family law attorney

Many couples consider drafting prenuptial agreements that cover the division of marital assets, and property or income that each spouse owned separately before the marriage, but few consider what will happen to any collective debt as a couple, if they decide to divorce. This can present a tricky situation for both parties, as some obligations can be on shared accounts, or may have benefited both parties in a way that both would be responsible for paying off the debt following a divorce.

One of the best ways for a couple to handle debt if they are planning on getting a divorce is to pay off or resolve the debt before filing to have their marriage ended. However, it can be difficult for both sides to come to an agreement on what their fair share of the debt should be. If a family court has to decide how to divide the debt, it will use the state’s guidelines for equitable distribution in order to decide how much debt each party will be responsible for after the divorce. These guidelines do not simply divide the debt down the middle and give half to each party, and the outcome can sometimes be less than favorable for one of the parties.

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