Tag Archives: division of assets

IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, marital assets are divided equitably. While you may end up receiving less than half of the total assets, the court ensures that assets are not distributed unfairly. Marital assets include everything from income, dividends, investment returns, real property, vehicles, and more that were acquired during the duration of the marriage. Assets owned by either party before the marriage began are considered non-marital assets, as are personal injury settlements, lawsuit awards, and inheritance.

This means that, for a long marriage, most of the assets are probably marital property that must be accounted for and divided equitably. For high asset marriages, it is not uncommon for one of the parties—usually the spouse in charge of banking, finances, and taxes—to hide some of the marital assets in order to make off with more than their fair share. If you are going through a divorce, you need to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that all assets are accounted for.

How Are Assets Hidden?

The most common ways that assets are hidden by one spouse from the other include the following:

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IL divorce lawyerTen years ago, few people had ever heard about cryptocurrency. Today, millions of Americans have invested in companies like Bitcoin. In fact, over five percent of Americans, or over 15 million, have purchased Bitcoin alone, the most popular type of cryptocurrency, with the average American investing around $3,400. Some individuals have invested far more than this. And, because cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin rise and drop in value drastically at any given month, many people have made small fortunes with an early investment before 2018. In fact, one Bitcoin was worth around $700 in 2016. Today, one Bitcoin is worth roughly $3,800. That represents an increase in value of over 540 percent. As such, if someone invested $5,000 back in 2016, their investment would now be worth over $27,000. Interestingly enough, this can cause issues during the division of assets in a divorce.

Asset Division

One of the main aspects of divorce is dividing assets. Here in Illinois, marital assets are divided in an equitable fashion. This does not mean that all marital assets are split down the middle 50/50, however. When a couple cannot come to terms on their own or through mediation, a judge will divide the assets fairly or equitably.

What Is Marital Property?

Property owned before marriage is personal property. The value of this personal property, which may grow during the course of the marriage, remains personal property. Marital assets and property include everything that was acquired during the marriage. This includes bank accounts, real property, savings accounts earned with one party’s income, cars, and more. The only types of property acquired during a marriage that are not considered marital property are gifts, settlement or lawsuit awards, and inheritance.

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Hinsdale IL high net worth divorce lawyerIt does not matter whether you have $100 in your bank account or all of the money in the world -- divorce is just as tough, both emotionally and financially, whether you are rich or poor. Many people think that couples who have more money tend to have an easier time if they get divorced, but that is not actually true. If anything, these couples experience just as much, if not more stress than couples with fewer assets. High net worth couples getting a divorce have a lot at stake, which is why it can be so emotionally and financially demanding for them. Here are just a few mistakes you should try to avoid if you have extensive assets and you are getting a divorce:

1. You Attempt to Hide Assets From Your Spouse

This mistake is a big no-no. Hiding assets from your spouse is not only rude, but it is illegal. When you enter into the divorce process, you are required to disclose all of your marital assets, which can be anything from checking and savings accounts to retirement accounts to vehicles and jewelry. Bottom line, do not try to hide assets from your spouse and his or her lawyers -- they will find out and you will pay for your actions.

2. You Forget About Tax Implications

Taxes are not something on most people's minds when they are getting a divorce. You are mostly focused on the here and now -- not what you will be paying in the future. Forgetting about tax implications is a costly mistake. Take spousal support for example -- currently, the person who pays it can deduct it from their taxes, and the person who receives it must report it on their taxes. This changes next year though, where the payor cannot deduct it, and the payee does not have to report it. Either way, tax implications can have a role in decision-making during your divorce.

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Illinois family lawyerMost people are aware that divorce proceedings lead to a great deal of emotional distress. However, many do not realize how much a divorce can damage their personal finances, especially if they are close to retirement age or have stayed at home rather than worked for years.

If you are going through a divorce, it is essential that you get everything that you are entitled to. Sadly, this is easier said than done as your spouse may hide their money or assets, such as stock shares, stock options, real estate, trust accounts, and investment accounts during your divorce. If you believe your spouse is hiding money, you should do the following:

Contact the Internal Revenue Service

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Illinois divorce attorneyWhen a couple ends their marriage in divorce, separating their lives from each other can become very complicated. The process will require the resolution of a number of issues, including determining how to divide property, allocate parental responsibility, and calculate the amount and duration of child support or spousal maintenance. When couples have a large amount of assets, the complexity of these matters can increase exponentially, and mistakes made during a high net worth divorce can have long-lasting consequences. During a high asset divorce, couples should avoid making these mistakes:

  1. Not hiring a financial advisor. A high net worth divorce often involves a number of complex financial issues, including real estate, business valuation, and pensions, investments, and retirement accounts. In order to gain a full understanding of what both spouses own, earn, and owe, a financial expert’s assistance is often required. By consulting with a financial advisor at the beginning of the divorce process, couples can avoid unexpected complications and resolve financial issues as smoothly as possible.

  1. Hiding assets. Spouses in high net worth divorces may try to transfer some of their assets to a child or relative to avoid dividing these assets with their spouse, or they may try to keep from disclosing the full extent of their earnings in order to reduce the amount they will pay in child support or spousal support. Attempting to hide assets is not only illegal, but spouses who try to do so will lose their credibility and be at a disadvantage in any disputes that arise during the divorce process. It is important to provide accurate, complete financial information during divorce, which will allow the process to be completed more quickly and efficiently.

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