Wheaton Attorneys for Marital Property Division

Warrenville Asset Division Lawyers

Lawyers for Dividing Assets and Debts in a DuPage County Divorce

When you and your spouse make the difficult decision to pursue a divorce, there will be a number of issues that you need to resolve. If you have children together, for example, you will have to decide whether and how you will share parental responsibilities and parenting time. Consideration will also need to be given to matters of support, including spousal support and child support. For many couples, however, one of the most difficult concerns to address is how to divide the marital estate, which includes both marital assets and debts.

At the Wheaton law firm of McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C., our attorneys have more than 65 years of family law experience. We have helped many clients in and around DuPage County develop equitable arrangements for dividing marital property, and we are prepared to put our knowledge and skill to work for you.

What Comprises the Marital Estate?

Before you and your spouse can divide your marital property, you will need to determine what assets and debts are considered "marital." According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/501), marital property includes almost any assets and obligations acquired by you or your spouse in the course of your marriage. The law makes exceptions for certain gifts or inheritances to just one spouse, which may be deemed to be "non-marital" in nature. Additionally, property that was acquired or debts that existed prior to the marriage are usually held to be non-marital and not subject to division in your divorce.

Asset and Debt Valuation in Naperville

Once all of the assets and liabilities that make up the marital estate have been identified, the next step is to determine the value of each one. Some valuations are fairly simple and straightforward, while others are much more complicated. For example, it is easy to know how much cash is in a savings account or how much you owe on your car. It is much more difficult to figure out how much your retirement investments are worth, especially if you are still many years away from retiring or if a portion of the account was acquired before the marriage. Complex assets may also include portions that were acquired both before and during the marriage, and each portion needs to be evaluated properly before they can be divided. Our attorneys will work closely with you and help you establish values for the most challenging assets and debts.

Kane County Equitable Distribution Lawyers

After the marital estate has been identified and evaluated, the final step is to actually divide the property. Illinois law follows the principles of "equitable distribution," which means that you and your spouse will each receive a fair portion of the marital property. Fair, however, does not necessarily mean equal. If you and your spouse cannot develop a reasonable agreement for dividing your marital assets and debts, the court will make the decision for you.

In doing so, the court will consider a variety of circumstantial factors, including:

  • Each spouse's age, occupation, earning ability, health, and financial circumstances;
  • Each spouse's contribution to the accumulation of marital property, including that of a spouse who was primarily a homemaker or stay-at-home parent;
  • How parental responsibilities and parenting time will be allocated;
  • Whether you or your spouse is seeking spousal support;
  • Obligations for spousal support or child support from a prior relationship;
  • How each spouse's tax obligations will be affected; and
  • Any other factor the court deems relevant.

Keep in mind that Illinois courts are not given much statutory guidance in regard to dividing marital property other than that the division should be equitable. This means that if you want a certain item, your best option might be to attempt negotiating with your spouse, either directly or through mediation. The attorneys at McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C. have the resources and tools to help facilitate such negotiations, but we are also skilled litigators who will aggressively protect your rights at trial if needed.

Let Us Help You

If you have additional questions about dividing marital assets and debts in your divorce, contact our office. Call 630-407-1200 to schedule a free consultation with a member of the team at McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C. today. We represent clients in DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Will County, Cook County, and the surrounding communities.

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