One of the most important components of your divorce is the division of your marital property. This division can have a profound effect on you and your children’s future financials, and it should, therefore, receive the careful attention it deserves. If you are preparing to file for divorce, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced Chicago divorce attorney before doing so.
The Division of Marital Property
In the State of Illinois, your marital property refers to those assets that you and your spouse acquired together as a married couple. This is regardless of who made the purchase or whose name is on the property. The exceptions to this rule generally include any gifts or inheritances that either of you received in your name alone during the course of your marriage. Your marital property will be divided upon divorce in a manner that is deemed equitable or fair instead of being divided right down the middle.
Any property that either of you brought into the marriage with you and kept separate – or parlayed into another separate property – will generally remain your separate property. The fact is, however, that the distinction between separate and marital property can become very complicated very quickly.
Why Inventory Your Property?
Inventorying your property before you file for divorce is in your best interest. While you may think that your marital property is very straightforward and that you’ll naturally get your fair share in your divorce, this simply isn’t always the case. If you’ve been married a long time, you have high assets, you own a business, your spouse handles all the finances, or your finances involve any other complications, you very well may not know what your marital assets encompass (in total). Inventorying early – before your divorce heats up and becomes more complicated – is an excellent idea.
But I Trust My Spouse
You trust your spouse, and there’s no reason to cease trusting him or her simply because you are going through a divorce. The fact is, however, that the stress and emotional upheaval of divorce can lead even the most reasonable among us to do unreasonable things, and many people become proprietary about assets in the divorce process. Because hiding assets can be all too easy, conducting your inventory early can provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a good handle on your marital property and aren’t going to need to do forensic accounting to get to the bottom of the matter. And if you do require forensic accounting, you’ll have the necessary information and documents at your fingertips.
What to Look For
In the process of inventorying your assets, you’re looking for documents in all of the following categories:
- Real property like your home’s mortgage
- Titles to motor vehicles
- Stocks, bonds, securities, annuities, and options
- Checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, savings certificates, and cash
- Contents of safe deposit boxes
- Life insurance policies
- Retirement plans
- Art or other collections of value
- Anything else in your financial portfolio
Don’t Delay Consulting With an Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney Today
The dedicated divorce attorneys at Arami Law in Chicago are committed to helping you thoroughly inventory your marital assets before you file for divorce (if possible). Whatever your divorce needs might be, our experienced legal team has the compassion, commitment, and skill to help. Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with your property division, divorce, or custody concerns today.