Divorce: How are Property and Debts Divided?

March 22, 2017
Marital Property
Divorce can be a messy process which can turn your financial and emotional world upside down.  However, there are many steps you can take to ensure your finances are not severely impacted for years to come especially when there is a large amount of marital property at stake.  In the state of Illinois, marital property is all things acquired subsequent to the marriage which in includes debts, property, and any other financial obligations.  
Non-Marital Property
​It is also equally important to understand what assets are considered non-marital property as well.  Examples of such items include:

  • Property obtained as a gift given by a legacy or descent
  • Property obtained by an exchange of another property (before marriage included)
  • Property obtained by a spouse after a legal separation
  • Property excluded by valid agreement of both spouses including premarital and postnuptial agreements
  • Property gained by judgment awarded to a spouse from another marriage
  • Property obtained before the marriage unless it relates to retirement plans with both names on it
  • Property obtained by a spouse for the sole use of non-marital property as collateral for a loan used to get more property during the marriage

All other property acquired during the marriage is normally considered marital property regardless of who’s name is on the title or which spouse owns the asset.  Likewise, marital property will be divided not necessarily based on monetary value but other stipulations such as the long and short term financial impact it will have for either party. The best way to ensure a smooth process during the division of marital property in a divorce is for both parties to play nice.  Furthermore, a contentious divorce can make the division of the marital property a lengthy expensive and emotionally draining process. 
Being Prepared
Additionally, one of the best things a divorcing couple can do in regards to the division of marital property is to make a list of his and her assets acquired during the marriage.  The list must also be honest and fair including such things as :

  • Land
  • Vacation homes
  • Bank accounts
  • Vehicles
  • Valuable collectibles
  • Valuable household items
  • Boats
  • Retirement plans

The skilled Edwardsville divorce attorney, Deborah Besserman can help make the division of marital assets an easy process with her compassion and experience.  Please contact the Bessersman Law Office today for a consultation.  

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