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Asset Valuation for Divorce

Divorce can be gruesome. There are so many feelings swirling around, it can be hard to think straight. Yet in the midst of all of the struggle, you must also find a common ground for dividing up a life together, everything from the personal belongings all the way to the finances. So many people accomplish this every day, what is their secret? How do they effectively value the assets for the actual worth, rather than the sentimental value? In divorce, it all has a monetary value, even the most minute item and even the things that have not been received yet, like that pension plan.

The Property in Question

In a dissolution of marriage, there are two different types of property to consider. All property is divided into marital property as well as separate property.

  • Marital Property: Property and debt that was acquired or accrued during the marriage; and
  • Separate Property: Debt and property that was there before the marriage began. It also includes any gift or inheritance to the individual during the marriage. Furthermore, separate property is any property that was generated as income from separate property, unless the spouse aided in producing that income.

Typically, if it is considered to be separate property, then there is no need to divide this between the spouses. The spouse who owns it is entitled to 100 percent of that item, unless of course the other spouse had something to do with the upkeep or the acquisition. Marital property is what is generally divided during a divorce.

The Judge’s Consideration

If you are not able to amicably decide how to make the property split, a judge will do it for you. If it gets to a judge, they will look at things strictly from a third party perspective and no feelings involved. Some of the factors that are often considered by Illinois judges are:

  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements;
  • Length of the marriage;
  • Each spouses age, health and station in life;
  • Alimony already being received;
  • Each individual’s occupation, skills, and employability;
  • The value of the property assigned;
  • Each spouse’s liabilities and needs; and
  • Contributions to the acquisition of the property, including the roles of a homemaker.

Putting a Value to Property

Deciding how much an item is worth can be done by the couple or by the judge. Typically, a couple will know approximately what they paid for an item, but if they need help they can hire a professional appraiser to aid them. If it is a retirement benefit, like a pension plan or an IRA, it would be better to hire a Certified Public Accountant to help them assess the worth. It is always a good idea to get the help of a professional with high value items such as houses, and even better to have help with a pension plan. A pension can be worth more than a house and has very specific guidelines that must be followed during a divorce.

There is a lot to be considered during a divorce and it can often get confusing. It is difficult to separate the feelings from the facts and that can make the situation more difficult. It is extremely beneficial to have an outside perspective to assist in some of the decision making. Someone who can be rational when the tension rises.

As the decisions you are making now will affect the rest of your life, it is a wise move to hire an attorney to answer any of your questions and guide you through the divorce process. If you are looking for a DuPage County divorce lawyer, Keller Legal Services, P.C. is proud to offer more than 25 years of experience and knowledge to get the outcome you are wanting. Call us today for your free initial consultation at 630-868-3093.

Sources:

https://www.hg.org/divorce-law-illinois.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59