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Property division: What happens to a small business in divorce?

No divorce is ever simple, even uncontested divorces in Illinois have some aspects that need careful consideration. The challenges typically involve property division, especially if the couple or one spouse owns a business. If not handled with care, a small business owner can lose everything that he or she worked to build up over years.

Property division addressed in a prenup can give peace of mind

Many people in Illinois wait until they have established a career before they enter into marriage. By that time, both parties might have acquired assets such as a home, a vehicle and possibly a business. It would only be natural to want to protect those assets, and the best way to ensure fair property division in the unfortunate event of a divorce is to sign a prenuptial agreement. The same applies to those entering into second or subsequent marriages.

Property division: Issues of concern when keeping the family home

There are many challenging decisions to make for anyone in Illinois who is in the throes of divorce. It is probably debatable whether child-related issues or property division matters are the hardest. The spouse who wants to keep the family home has additional things to consider, the first of which is getting a separation agreement that the mortgage provider would need along with an application for a new loan. Matters such as paying or receiving support will feature in the institution's decision to grant a new mortgage.

Prenuptial agreements can simplify property division in divorce

Prenuptial agreements have become essential parts of many marriages in Illinois. They have also become as crucial in divorces and property division. No longer are prenups regarded as contracts for the rich. They are legally binding agreements that will protect the assets that each spouse brings into the marriage and determines how any assets and property they acquire during the marriage will be split in the event of a divorce. It could also protect a spouse who gives up a career to take care of the family home and the children.

What is the involuntary disclosure process in property division?

Mistrust is something that is common among spouses who are going through a divorce, and it is often justified. Many people in Illinois have had to go to great lengths to discover assets that soon-to-be exes tried to keep out of the property division process. Both spouses are expected to disclose all assets, including bank accounts, real estate, cars and more, and some steps can be taken by someone who suspects assets to be concealed.

Property division can bring unwelcome surprises

Many divorces in Illinois are amicable, with former spouses maintaining friendly relationships as they move forward with their lives. However, a case in another state shows that this desire to get along must not prevent each party from ensuring his or her interests are protected even after the divorce. This case involved a property division ruling by the court about the marital home.

Dealing with a family business in property division

Divorce in Illinois, under any circumstances, can be a challenging process to navigate. While the best advice might be to handle property division negotiations as a business transaction, it could be tough to keep emotions at bay. This applies especially if there is a family enterprise involved.

Property division for a second or third time?

A decision to remarry late in life needs careful consideration and planning. Those in Illinois who have gone through divorce and property division proceedings and then plan a second or third marriage will know how important it is to discuss finance-related matters before the wedding. One of the primary concerns in such circumstances is for both parties to protect their retirement funds, which are not easily replaceable for those at or nearing retirement age.

How are gifts between spouses handled in property division?

When a person in Illinois files for a divorce, he or she will likely do a considerable amount of planning to ensure financial stability. Many of the considerations might involve property division, and real estate, investments, stock and bonds, along with other assets, may be the primary concerns. However, the question of gifts may arise -- who will get to keep the gifts that spouses gave each other?

Pets will soon not be part of property division in Illinois

Family courts in Illinois will consider the best interests of pets in divorce proceedings beginning in 2018. Currently, ownership of pets in divorce are handled through the property division process. Recognizing that many people consider their pets as family members, courts will now use the "best interests" test.

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Belleville, IL 62220

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