Tag Archives: divorce assets

business value in divorce, DuPage family law attorneyMy husband wants me to agree to his accountant's valuation of the business he started up during our marriage. He says this will save money on attorneys fees and quickly settle our Illinois divorce, should I agree?

In high income or high net worth cases one side or the other may attempt to persuade their spouse to agree or "stipulate" to the value of a "marital business." Many times a high income or high net worth spouse will use various techniques of persuasion or threats including such statements as:

  • The business has no value since it cannot be sold.
  • The actual business value resides in the personal goodwill I have created so that if I left the business it would have no value since the customers would only deal with me.
  • The debt exceeds the value of the physical assets and therefore the business has no value or a limited value.
  • I will simply close the business and you will receive nothing.

These attempts at persuasion may or may not convince the other spouse. The object of the game is to avoid having an expert evaluate the business and determine the present fair market value of the marital portion of the business so that you as a spouse can receive your fair share.

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illinois divorce bankruptcy attorneyReason five:  Bankruptcy and divorce law frequently come into play during the course of a divorce case.

Divorce lawyers generally advise divorce first and then file bankruptcy. The reasoning is while a bankruptcy court may discharge a spouse's debt to a creditor, the divorce judge may later order that same debt paid despite bankruptcy. The typical example includes the following: husband and wife have borrowed money from the wife's parents, then the husband files bankruptcy and includes the debt to her parents. In a later divorce, the wife's successfully argues to the divorce judge that since the borrowed money from her parents was used for marital purposes that debt to her parents remains unpaid, and she is remains responsible for the debt. Therefore,  the husband should also pay that debt despite his bankruptcy. The divorce judge may well agree and order the husband to pay the debt despite his bankruptcy.

Another example of where bankruptcy law and divorce law intersect is if you're ordered to pay your spouses divorce attorneys fees, and then you later file a bankruptcy, those attorneys fees may be found to be nondischargeable by the bankruptcy court. You still owe them bankruptcy or not. Although your have gone bankrupt you must still pay the divorce attorneys fees. Likewise, if you're ordered to pay attorneys fees for a Guardian ad Litem (GAL)  in a child custody case arising during your divorce, these GAL fees are also nondischargeable in bankruptcy.

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illinois divorce asset lawyerIf your spouse has for sometime or even quite recently been buying gold in the form of jewelry or other forms it is not necessarily because your spouse is cheating on you or giving these as gifts to some other person. If divorce is imminent, it is an effective way of concealing cash in a form that goes relatively unnoticed.

On the other hand, men in particular do not realize that when their wife buys herself a bauble or special gift, it is in fact a way of concealing money in an asset that appreciates in value and is easy sell or even return to the jeweler for cash.

This type of spending also has the increased benefit to your spouse of creating a history or precedent of spending during your marriage. A nonworking spouse can claim this spending reflects a family lifestyle that you silently agreed upon during the marriage. Your silence is your agreement.

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Generally, all types of assets acquired during your marriage are marital property and may be divided by divorce court.*

For many years in order to keep their employees, companies offered not only a salary but frequently a bonus and a pension plan. During the economic good times before 2008, stock options have even more popular as a means of additional compensation to employees.

Your spouse may receive company stock or stock options as a form of additional pay. You need to be sure to verify whether your spouse in fact owns company stock or stock options. As part of the "discovery" process in an Illinois divorce, written questions called "interrogatories" (and records) can be asked of your spouse requesting ownership information of stock or stock options.

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