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How To Divide A Substantial Marital Estate

There are some common issues to every divorce case. Most notably the issue of child custody and support must be resolved in every case where minor children are involved. Likewise, all divorce proceedings include an emotional element, and must be handled in a way that leaves the parties emotionally healthy and ready to move forward with their lives. When dealing with cases where the marital estate is substantial, special care must be taken to ensure the property division is fair to both sides and is done in a way that is equitable. This is true because when there are significant assets to divide, the parties’ positions can be very different from cases where the marital estate is of a lesser value. Figuring out what to do with a family business that generates substantial income is a complex task, and factors such as the ongoing viability of the company as well as how to protect the jobs of employees must be decided. This is just one example of how dividing a substantial marital estate can take on a different life than when these types of assets are not present. We are trained in financial matters as well as family law matters and can help you make choices that make sense and work for the specific facts of your case.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act will govern how property is distributed, regardless of its value. Things the Court will consider include:

● Making a distribution that is fair, which does not necessarily mean an equal split.
● The level of involvement in certain aspects that contribute to a high net worth situation, such as the role of each party in any family owned business or joint venture.
● The length of the marriage.
● The ability of the parties to continue to act in a decision making capacity in instances where significant financial holdings such as real estate or other investments exist.

Everyone wants to stand on their own feet financially after a divorce. This is part of gaining independence from and reliance upon your spouse, which is a crucial element to having a successful post-divorce life. When the stakes are high, emotions are as well and the issues can quickly become hotly contested. Keeping a level head and working through your needs with an experienced divorce attorney will help you reach results that are satisfactory. Call us today for more information.

If you have questions about high net worth divorce, call us for answers. Contact the Chicago Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC to schedule your appointment today. Our goal is help you get through your divorce with confidence and emotional stability.

What’s Mine Is Mine, Right?

In Illinois, when a couple divorces, their property is divided equitably. This does not mean an equal split, but a division that is considered fair. Determinations as to who gets what property are made by examining the circumstances of the parties, and looking at what property is marital versus what property is not marital. Typically, property that was yours before the marriage is not marital property and is not subject to division upon divorce.

Property division must be accomplished by identifying what there is, and how it is characterized. For example:

● Marital property is that property which is acquired by the couple during the course of the marriage. Generally speaking, a home purchased after the marriage, whereby both parties apply for and obligate themselves to the mortgage loan, is marital property.

● Non marital property is that property that you owned prior to entering marriage. For example, items you owned outright before getting married are considered non-marital property (such as a family heirloom given to you at your high school graduation).

● Gifts are considered non-marital property and consist of things given to one of the parties to a marriage, outside of the marriage. A common example is a holiday or birthday gift given to you by a friend.

Gifts from family members are more difficult to classify as marital or non-marital. This is because a wife’s father may give the couple money to use as a down payment for a home, and so when the home is purchased it becomes near impossible to figure out how to treat the down payment money. This problem occurs frequently, and when the couple divorces it becomes necessary to separate out property that has changed its character. A skilled family law attorney can help you differentiate between types of property and make sure the distribution is proper.

For more information on how to classify and distribute property when filing for divorce, call our office for help. Our attorneys are qualified to assist you with all the issues that are important to you and your family. Contact the Chicago Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC today to schedule your appointment.

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