Most people who get married in Illinois do not plan to divorce. Couples set up their home, travel, collect art, open joint bank accounts and move forward in the next phase of life. However, if the writing is on the wall and divorce seems imminent, you can prepare for a smooth separation and protect your assets. At Soffietti, Johnson, Teegen, Argueta & Bawcum, LTD, we often assist clients with family law matters, including prenuptial agreements, divorce and child custody.
According to Worthy, Inc., when it comes time to divide the assets, the court considers which are marital property and which are separate. Begin preparing by examining current assets that may include the following:
- Checking and savings accounts
- Retirement accounts such as IRAs, pensions and 401(k)s
- Home, vacation and rental properties
- Jewelry and art
- Family practices and businesses
Knowing the value of accounts before filing can help you see how the financial situation will play out during the proceedings as the court typically splits big-ticket items equally. When dividing shared assets such as jewelry, art, furniture and household items, factors that affect who gets what include the duration of the marriage, the income of each partner, age and standard of living during the marriage.
Some items carry sentimental value, which can result in a settlement that does not benefit either of you. Hiding assets or misrepresenting family income can result in a disproportionate share of assets going to one person. If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets, a forensic accountant or another financial professional can help ensure each of you gets a fair share. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.