The average marriage that ends in divorce lasts almost eight years. During these years, many married couples buy houses and acquire other property. So, unless they have a prenuptial agreement, property division is usually the most expensive, complicated, and contentious portion of a divorce case.
Premarital agreements resolve many complex property division issues in advance. As a result, a future divorce is less complicated. Furthermore, since prenups remove the possibility of many money fights, these agreements typically strengthen the marriage.
Despite the complexities discussed below, a Matteson property division attorney from The Pinkston Law Group offers straightforward, long-lasting solutions which are also cost effective. We also serve as a strong voice for you, during both court hearings and pretrial negotiation sessions.
In Illinois, property that either spouse acquired before the marriage or as a gift is considered non-marital property. The remaining property is considered marital property, which is subject to an equitable division—more on that below. Upon first impression, this rule seems very simple. But looks are often deceiving.
Commingling is often an issue. Assume that, just before the wedding, the Husband buys a classic car that is in very bad shape. The wife uses a wedding gift from her parents and her technical know-how to help fix up the car. By the time the couple divorces, the vehicle is an in-demand show car.
At the time of marriage, the car was definitely the Husband’s nonmarital property. At the time of divorce, depending on the specific facts, the car could be either Husband or Wife’s non-marital property, or it could be marital property subject to an equitable division. These classification problems also apply to all past, current, and future appearance fees and other associated revenue.
Illinois is an equitable division state. Upon divorce, marital property must be divided equitably. That is not necessarily the same thing as equally, although there is a presumption that a 50-50 split is equitable.
If a disproportionate division is necessary to equalize the financial burden of the divorce, most judges will make appropriate orders. Some factors to consider include:
An owelty lien for partition is usually a good option for non-owner spouses if the house is not sold. The non-owner spouse receives a lien for his/her share of the equity. Later, when the house is sold, that lien must be satisfied.
Divorce property division is normally a complicated affair. For a free consultation with an experienced property division attorney in Matteson, contact The Pinkston Law Group, P.C.
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