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Count and Evaluate Your Assets Before Beginning the Illinois Divorce Process

By Nottage and Ward on March 2, 2011

This is the second part of a three-part series on our blog that talks about Illinois divorce and your financial future. In the first part, we discussed why it is essential to review your credit report, which can help you determine what financial decisions will be the best in the long run. In part two, we will discuss steps to take before dividing marital assets.

Establishing the real worth of marital assets is not as simple as most people believe. However, a recent article on DailyFinance.com recommends several steps you can take to help make the process easier.

In the early stages of the divorce process, you should tally your financial assets. This can help you know where and what they are, their real value, and also alert you as to what you cannot afford to lose in divorce negotiations. Both spouses will have to list assets they posses. Items such as stock-trading accounts or pensions that a spouse may not have disclosed will need to be revealed in order to determine the whole financial picture. If you are unsure of what assets your spouse has, you can use their personal tax returns to help you determine if a spouse has investments or stock brokerage accounts they received capital from.

You should also have any jointly held assets, such as jewelry, fur, or paintings, appraised to establish their current, real value. You want to know the value of items so you can decide if they are worth fighting for. Additionally, it may be necessary to verify what items are worth in the chance that your spouse sets the value for an item excessively high, with the belief that you will need to give them compensation if you keep it.

Also, you should learn what the pros and cons of possessing particular assets are before concluding what items you hope to obtain. Some assets have hidden expenses and risks of devaluation, so you should be aware of what it could cost to own an asset in the long term before fighting to get it. For example, if it is concluded that a family heirloom is authentic and valuable, if you possess it, you may be required to safeguard and insure the item, which could be factored into the settlement. You should also be careful not to take all the assets that taxes must be paid upon while your spouse takes the assets that are regular cash.

If you live in Illinois and are thinking about getting a divorce, contact the Illinois divorce attorneys at Nottage and Ward. Our lawyers have focused on family law for over 20 years, and can provide the legal assistance you need during this difficult time. Call 312-332-2915 today.

Continue to check our blog for the conclusion in our three-part series about how to plan for your financial future during your Illinois divorce.

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