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Property Division

Property & Asset Division Lawyers Serving Kane, Kendall & DeKalb Counties

When a dissolution of a marriage occurs and a divorce is granted, there are a wide variety of legal decisions that are made regarding the couple’s property. Namely, the determination of things like how their property should be divided and, by extension, what is considered marital property. This can be a confusing and complex process that might be both frustrating and disappointing to the parties involved.

At Van Der Snick Law Firm, LTD we understand that the determination of how property is divided is not always made how you might hope. In fact, you might end up with a judgment that does not reflect your beliefs nor, sometimes, your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. When that happens – or, preferably, before that happens – you should contact an experienced divorce attorney! Make sure that your needs and your rights are properly represented in court from the very beginning, and enlist the help of a knowledgeable Van Der Snick Law Firm, LTD attorney who will work closely with you to ensure that your case is handled well.

Marital Property

Many individuals are confused by the definition of “marital property” as it is interpreted by the court. To make things a bit simpler, let’s take a look at how the court tends to define the term. Marital property is considered to be property that was acquired by either party in a marriage after the marriage took place but before a divorce was granted. Note that there are a few exclusions to this definition, including things like inheritances. If one spouse received property via an inheritance or a gift, then it remains their separate property and is generally not considered marital property.

Do you have questions regarding marital property and what exactly will qualify? In order to ensure that you fully understand the term as well as what will likely be subject to division by the courts, make sure that you hire an experienced attorney. The knowledgeable lawyers at Van Der Snick Law Firm, for example, are happy to work with you to ensure that you understand everything that is going on with your case.

Maintaining the Status Quo

During a marriage, spouses, much like single individuals, have a right to individually sell, buy, and give away their property. This is done without interference from the court most of the times because it is not an uncommon situation. With that said, this right changes when one (or both) parties file for a divorce. When this happens, the court will issue something known as a “stay”. This is a court order that prohibits either spouse from disposing of property without the agreement and knowledge of the court. That means that they can no longer obtain major assets, sell major assets, or give any assets away without the explicit permission of the court. This is done in order to help maintain the “status quo” while property division is decided upon. It prevents one spouse from hiding or otherwise disposing of a valuable asset in order to keep it from being considered marital property during the divorce and, subsequently, shared between spouses.

Equitable Division

When it comes to the actual process of property division during the dissolution of a marriage, it is important to understand the way in which your state approaches it. In Illinois, the court system views marital property and its division as being an “equitable” process. As an equitable division state, Illinois holds that martial property does not need to be distributed exactly equally in a 50/50 manner. Instead, it finds that the property in question should be divided in a way that is fair. That means that sometimes one spouse might receive 40% of the marital property in question while the other receives 60%.

Additionally, it should be noted that the court does not consider any kind of “marital misconduct” while dividing property. That means that even if the marriage is obtained because one spouse committed something like adultery and single-handedly destroyed the marriage, that will not be taken into account when property is divided.

Do I need a lawyer to help me divide my property or assets?

Many individuals will wait to hire a divorce attorney with the justification that they don’t really need one – that they can handle things on their own. And while this might even be true should the divorce be extremely straightforward, mutually agreed upon, and with minimal marital property, the vast majority of people benefit from having an attorney involved who is experienced with divorce hearings and understands how property division works. They can help clients prepare for the divorce and property division process and help make sure that their rights are protected. This is especially important if the individual in question has a lot of property that should be protected during the divorce.

Contact A Property Division & Asset Division Family Law Attorney For Help

For more information about how we can help with your case, contact Van Der Snick Law Firm, LTD today!