Property, Asset & Debt Division Attorneys
Experienced Property and Asset Division Lawyers
Dividing property can be one of the most challenging aspects of dissolving a marriage. In high asset divorcesor divorces involving a variety of assets, disentangling a marital estate and finding an equitable distribution is a complex process. At the Illinois divorce law firm of Kezy & Associates, we are skilled in handling divorces involving all types of marital assets. Our divorce lawyers strongly advocate for our clients’ financial interests and strive to ensure you leave your marriage in a solid financial position.
Marital Property Versus Separate Property in Illinois
The only property subject to division in a divorce is marital property. In general, marital property is any property that is earned or acquired during the marriage. There are exceptions to this rule, however, including:
- Property gained through an inheritance;
- Gifts received by one spouse;
- Property acquired by one spouse using separate funds (and not used for the benefit of the marriage);
- Certain parts of a personal injury award (i.e. pain and suffering awards); and
- Property exempted from the marital estate via prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Classifying which assets should be included in the marital estate can be a source of contention in some cases. We are skilled in advocating for our clients’ best interests in both including and excluding such assets.
Equitable Distribution of Property and Assets in Illinois
As an equitable distribution state, Illinois law does not require assets to be split equally in a divorce. Assets must, however, be distributed in a way that is fair and equitable. The easiest way to accomplish this task is through negotiation. When lawyers negotiate which spouses retain which assets, both spouses have more control over the outcome of their marital estate. Allowing the court to determine what happens to your marital property can result in a judgment that is not satisfying to either party. With over 25 years of experience negotiating asset division matters, our divorce lawyers are skilled in effectively advocating for our clients.
Sometimes, negotiations are unable to resolve disputes related to asset distribution in a divorce, and litigation is required. We are skilled litigators with a long track record of obtaining favorable results at trial. We seek the most efficient resolution possible to save our clients time, expense and aggravation.
What Constitutes Marital Debt in Illinois
Married people incur a wide range of debts throughout a marriage. Some of those debts are joint debts and some are separate debts. Joint debts typically include:
- Home mortgages;
- Car loans;
- Jointly held credit cards;
- Credit card debt from jointly used purchases; and
- Jointly held business debt.
Just because a debt occurred during the marriage, however, does not automatically make it a martial debt. Separate debts may include:
- Separately held credit cards; and
- Business debt from separately held businesses.
Whose name is on the debt is not always indicative of who will be held responsible for the debt. If, for example, only your name is on a credit card but it is used for household expenses, the debt incurred on that card would still be considered joint debt. Likewise, the court may make one spouse solely responsible for a debt for which both spouses are named. Sorting through the assets and debts accumulated during a marriage is a complex process requiring both skill and experience. At our firm, we carefully review our clients’ financial history and circumstances so we can effectively advocate for your interests.
Debt, Creditors, & Divorce
Assigning debt is an important part of the property and asset division process, but a finalized divorce does not always prevent creditors from pursuing the spouse who is not responsible for the debt. If your ex-spouse fails to pay a debt that is in your name, your credit can suffer the consequences. Our divorce lawyers are experienced in advising clients about how to protect their credit rating and credit history when dealing with marital debt issues.
If you are going through a divorce or considering filing for a divorce, contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation. We will walk you through what you can expect from your divorce and explain how the law will likely be applied to your specific circumstances.