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Wheaton debt division lawyerDealing with the marital estate is arguably one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce. Contention over who gets to keep the family home and who gets the money in savings accounts can be the cause of many arguments during the asset division process. One thing to note is that property and assets are not the only things that must be divided during this division process you must also allocate your debts between the two of you. Allocating debt can prove to be a stressful process, especially since debts created by one spouse may need to be divided between the two of you.

Is it Marital or Non-Marital Debt?

The first thing you must do is determine which of your debts are actually part of the marital estate and which of your debts are personal debts. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), any property or debts acquired between the day you were married and the day you filed for divorce are considered to be part of the marital estate. If the debt was acquired before you were married or after you filed for divorce, it will probably be considered individual debt. Marital debt can include:

  • Credit card debt

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Wheaton high asset divorce attorneyThe financial aspects of divorce can be an additional stressor for those in the process of ending their marriage. For some, this stress comes from worrying about the cost of divorce. But for couples who have money to spare, their extensive assets can actually be the root of the divorce anxiety. During divorce, couples who have a high net worth have a few different issues that many other couples typically do not have to worry about. If you are going through a high net worth divorce, here are a few mistakes you should try your best to avoid:

Concealing Assets From Your Spouse

Trying to hide assets from your spouse is not uncommon in high net worth divorces. This is possibly one of the worst mistakes you can make, because not only is it unfair, but it is illegal. During divorce negotiations, you are required to be completely truthful with your spouse and their attorney. If you do not fully disclose all aspects of your finances during the discovery process, including the income you earn, the assets you own, and the debts you owe, you could end up paying a lot more than what you would have originally, causing you to lose the assets you were trying to protect.

Forgetting About Tax Issues

Getting a divorce involves a lot of financial decisions that can affect you for the rest of your life. One thing you must keep in mind when making these decisions is how it will affect your taxes after the divorce papers are signed. With the many financial aspects of divorce, there are tax implications that can come up in the future. Issues such as spousal support can affect the amount of taxes that you pay, along with 401(k) distributions or selling certain assets.

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Wheaton property division lawyerFinancial issues are some of the most commonly-cited reasons for divorce. In some cases, one spouse may not have believed in overspending, while the other spouse was comfortable with leaving a balance on the credit card every month. In other situations, spouses may have disagreed about how much to spend on daily necessities or luxury items. Whatever the reason for the financial mismatch, tensions can increase when the decision to get a divorce is made. It is not uncommon in a marriage for one spouse to be the “go-to” spouse for all things money-related. In situations like these, it can be tempting, and rather easy, for that spouse to conceal or hide assets in hopes that they will not have to share them with the other spouse.

Protecting your finances during your divorce is extremely important, because it can dictate your financial health for the rest of your life. Even if you were the spouse in the marriage who did not handle the majority of the finances, you will want to make sure you are receiving your fair share of assets in the divorce. If you suspect your spouse might be hiding assets from you, here are a few ways you can uncover them:

Start With the Tax Returns

The first place you should begin looking for any financial wrongdoing is on your tax returns. If the tax returns contain itemized deductions, scan through them and see if anything jumps out. For example, a deduction for property taxes can reveal a hidden property. You should also pay attention to capital gains and losses, which can help you discover hidden real estate or stocks and bonds.

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