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Wheaton asset division lawyer business valuationDuring a divorce, one of the biggest issues you must deal with is the asset division process. Everything that you and your spouse own together must be allocated between the two of you during this process. Illinois is an equitable division state, which means marital property should be divided in a fair manner. However, fair does not always mean equal. Most assets are easy to define and allocate, but what happens when you or your spouse own a business or a private practice that you must address?

Options For Your Business

Before you make any decisions, you should get a fair valuation of your business. It is important to know exactly what your business is worth before you start figuring out how to deal with it. There are various methods you can use to determine the value of your business. Your divorce attorney should be able to recommend an appraiser who can offer advice about your valuation.

When it comes to your business and your divorce, there are three main options that you have to choose from. You can buy out your spouse’s share of the business, you can remain co-owners, or you can sell your business. Each option has its own benefits, but your best option depends on your specific situation.

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Wheaton asset division attorneyWhen you get a divorce, one of the most difficult subjects to handle is the division of property between you and your spouse. Not only can it fuel the emotional side of divorce, but property division can become complicated when trying to determine what to do with specific assets and how to make the division as fair and equitable as possible. There are a variety of factors that come into play when determining how marital property is divided.

Dividing Real Property

Some of the most complicated issues arise when it comes time to determine how real estate property is divided. Because a home cannot be physically split in half, couples sometimes have to get creative when distributing the value of this property. Spouses typically have three choices when it comes to dealing with the home: selling it and splitting the profits, keeping it in one spouse’s name while that spouse “buys out” the other spouse's share, or continuing to jointly own the home.

Dangers of Continued Joint Ownership

It is rarely a good idea to continue to jointly own property after a divorce. It is in your best interests to ensure that only your name is on the deeds or titles to any property that you are awarded in the asset division process.

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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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Naperville property division attorneyGetting a divorce is never easy, especially when it comes time to dividing your marital property and assets. One of the most valuable and treasured things you and your spouse own is most likely your family home. Divvying up such a big and expensive asset can create contention, making the rest of the property division process uncomfortable. For many couples, the family home can be a sentimental asset, especially if you have raised children in the home. When it comes down to it, there are three basic options you can choose from when deciding what to do with the home: continue co-owning the home, sell the home and split the proceeds, or allow one spouse to “buy out” the other spouse.

Co-Own the Home With Your Spouse

For some couples, keeping things just the way they are is the most beneficial option. If you have children who want to stay in the home, it can be helpful to keep the home ownership under both of your names. This can also be an option for spouses who cannot agree on what to do with the home or who want to defer decision-making regarding the home until a later date, such as when children have graduated from high school.

Sell Your Home and Split the Profits

The most popular option that couples choose when getting a divorce is selling the family home and dividing the proceeds that come from the sale. This is typically the easiest way to deal with the home, but it can have certain consequences. If your house has appreciated significantly, you may have to pay capital gains taxes on the sale, which must be paid when you file your income taxes. Divorcing couples who decide that this option is best will also have to take the time to find new living arrangements.

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