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IL divorce lawyerWhen you first begin the divorce process, you will likely be advised to come up with a list of issues that matter the most to you -- the ones that you are adamant about fighting for. What is on that list? For some people, their finances are at the top of their list of concerns. The way your finances are handled during your divorce could significantly impact your financial situation after the fact and for years to come.

The first step in successfully managing your finances during your divorce is taking an actual inventory of everything that you and your spouse own. This includes both physical items such as vehicles and jewelry and immaterial items, like bank accounts or retirement funds. Ensuring you have an accurate picture of your financial situation before any decisions are made is crucial. Here are a few tips to help you inventory your assets:

Make a List of Common Assets

Firstly, make a list of any assets that you and your spouse both have ownership to. This should include both physical and immaterial items that are considered marital property and subject to division during the divorce. Physical items can include things such as real estate, vehicles, artwork, or other important and/or expensive assets. Other items that you will want to include on the list are things such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, gym memberships, airline miles, or other immaterial items.

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IL family lawyerLike many Americans, your vehicle is probably one of the most important and valuable things that you own. In today’s world, many families have multiple vehicles to get them from one place to another. In the event of a divorce, deciding who gets the vehicles can often be straightforward, but there are certain issues that should be addressed before the final decision is made. Consider these things when making decisions about how to divide your vehicles in a divorce:

  • Is the vehicle separate or marital property? The first thing that you should consider when dividing your vehicles is whether the vehicles are marital or nonmarital property. If you purchased the vehicle before you were married, then it is considered nonmarital property and you keep the vehicle. If you purchased the vehicle while you were married, then the vehicle must be allocated to one of you.
  • What is the market value of the vehicle? When dividing your property, it can be useful to know the monetary value of your assets. When it comes to vehicles, one vehicle might be worth more than another because of the age or features of the vehicle. This can be used as a bargaining chip for other assets to make up the difference between the two.
  • Do you still owe money for the vehicle? Another consideration is whether or not you and your spouse are still paying on a loan for the vehicle. If you and your spouse cosigned on an auto loan, you are both legally responsible for paying off that loan. It is generally agreed that the spouse who keeps the vehicle is the spouse to continue paying for the vehicle.
  • Who gets the vehicles? Determining who gets what vehicle can be a straightforward process if you and your spouse each have your own vehicles. If you have more than one vehicle, you can award the vehicles by value or you can come to another agreement with your spouse.

Our Skilled Elmhurst, IL Property Division Lawyers Can Help

If you are going through a divorce, you may be wondering how you should divide your marital property. This can be a long and tedious process, with vehicles just being one facet. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we are here to help you fight for your rightful portion of your marital estate. Call our knowledgeable DuPage County property division attorneys today at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.

 

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL child custody lawyerThe “dream” divorce, if there is such a thing, is one in which both spouses are amicable with each other, still respect one another, and are willing to work together. While this may be a reality for a lucky few, the majority of divorces are going to involve some degree of animosity between the spouses. In some cases, the tension between the spouses can get so bad that a spouse will do anything in his or her power to keep their soon-to-be-ex from getting their fair share of marital assets. In these cases, the spouse may do what is considered marital asset dissipation.

What is Dissipation?

The Illinois Supreme Court defines dissipation as the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time the marriage at a time the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.” Dissipation can include intentional wasting, spending, destroying or otherwise squandering marital assets for the simple purpose of depriving the other spouse of the asset. Examples of dissipation can include:

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divorceDivorce can bring on a rush of emotions and leave a person going through the process not thinking clearly. There is so much to think about that many assets may be overlooked. Both spouses are legally required to be upfront about their assets. Although there are often cases in which a spouse purposely hides assets, some items are quite simply forgotten when it comes time to divide up everything in a divorce.

Where to Begin with Property Division

Most people probably have no problem coming up with a list of assets and debts that will have to be split in their divorce. On the asset side, think bank accounts, the family home, cars, and investments. On the debt side, think mortgages, loans, and credit cards. These can be split evenly, or couples may have different ideas for who will get what. An experienced divorce attorney can help you iron out a fair deal in your divorce and can assist in making sure you do not forget about any other valuable items that you may be entitled to.

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