Tag Archives: division of property

Many pieces of property are very difficult to split in a divorce, like bank accounts and stock portfolios. Although the assets that go to each party are up for dispute, each piece is essentially interchangeable and valued.

Those property items, however, are the easier ones to divide up. Items of sentimental value are tougher to negotiate, including family heirlooms and items from deceased parents and grandparents, even professional sports franchises, and art have been responsible for dragging out divorce proceedings.

It is recommended that going into a divorce with the knowledge of how difficult it is to divide assets will help you avoid arguments that will cause the divorce to get drawn out and raise legal fees.

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The holidays are an exciting time of the year. It takes a lot of planning, cooking, and present buying in order to prepare for a special week at the end of December. However much you might like the holiday as an adult, the chances are that your kids like it immeasurably more.

The truth is many parents who are contemplating divorce wait until after the holidays. For a time of the year that means spending more time with more family, it is often easier for parents to suffer through the holidays for the sake of their children. The New Year might be an easier time to broach the subject with children.

The holidays can also be a time of reflection. Hopefully while you listen to Christmas music and watch your children open Christmas presents, you can think about your big decision. If you feel you have exhausted every option and that there is no better option than divorce, then there are a few things to protect your future through the holidays.

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There are many things that are considered in the process of divorce.  If you have kids, then certain arrangements must be made for them regarding child support, child custody and even co-parenting agreements.  There are also financial concerns in divorces like the division of assets and debts, spousal support and others.  But a little considered aspect of divorce is the effects that it has on taxes.

The first effect of a divorce is tax filing status.  No longer being able to file as “married” can result in more taxes.  Yet, if you have children you may be able to file as “head of household.”  If there are multiple children, then it is possible to have both parents claim one child and qualify for filing as the “head of household” rather than “single”.  There are more tax benefits from filing as the “head of household” rather than “single”.

There are also considerations about the custody arrangement, which affects if a parent can claim the children as dependents.  Claiming a child as a dependent is awarded to the parent who has custody for the greater part of a year.  Yet, the custodial parent has the ability to transfer the exemption to the other parent by signing Form 8332.  But, paying or receiving child support does not result in either more or less taxes because those types of payments are not taxable.  The only type of payment stemming from a divorce which is taxable is spousal support, because it is considered to be income generating.

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When preparing for a divorce, it is important to know the difference between marital property and non-marital property. Most assets acquired by either spouse after the marriage and before a divorce are marital property and are subject to division upon dissolution of marriage. Non-marital property, however, is not divided in divorce. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defines non-marital property in the following way:

  • property acquired by gift, legacy or descent
  • property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, legacy or descent
  • property acquired after a divorce
  • property acquired before the marriage
  • property excluded by valid agreement of the spouses
  • any judgment or property obtained by judgment awarded to a spouse from the other spouse
  • the increase in value of property acquired by a method listed above
  • income from property acquired by a method listed above, if the income is not due to the personal effort of  a spouse

If non-marital property is transferred into some form of co-ownership between the spouses, it becomes marital property. It is necessary to be able to prove that property was acquired in a method listed above, so it won’t be considered marital property.

Additionally, all pension benefits are marital property, regardless of which spouse participates in the pension plan, and all stock options, vested or non-vested, are marital property as well. If it can be proven that the benefits or stock options were acquired before the marriage, they will be considered non-marital property and should not be subject to division.

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