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DuPage County family law attorneysThere are many factors which can complicate a divorce. One of the biggest of these is an uncooperative or untrustworthy spouse. Ending a marriage is already challenging, but adding a spouse who is not forthcoming about his or her finances makes it even harder. If you considering divorce and worried that your spouse will attempt to hide assets, read on to learn about how you can protect your financial rights during your Illinois divorce.

Illinois Courts Need an Accurate Representation of Financial Status to Divide Property

Before marital property can be divided in a divorce, spouses must list their assets and debts in a financial disclosure. Once the spouses know their complete financial picture, they can begin deciding how this property should be divided between them. If the spouses cannot come to an agreement about property division, the court system will decide for them.

Property acquired before the marriage is usually considered separate property while any property acquired by either spouse after the marriage is martial property. There are certain exceptions to these general categorizations. For example, when marital and separate property is mixed together or “comingled,” it may be considered entirely marital property. Certain gifts and inheritances are also considered separate property even if they were acquired during the marriage.

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DuPage County asset division lawyerSometimes in a divorce proceeding, one or both spouses try to get an unfair advantage in regard to property division. Asset hiding is depressingly common, with Forbes reporting approximately one-third of people with joint bank accounts have committed “financial deception.” However, it is still illegal, and you could be in serious trouble if you are caught.

Illinois Property Division

In Illinois, marital property division is done equitably, which means fairly rather than equally. It is generally held to be a matter of good public policy that divorce proceedings do not leave one spouse in a significantly financially disadvantaged position. If one spouse has far more earning potential than the other, he or she will likelyl be ordered to provide more support or given fewer assets.

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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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