Property Division

Millionaire ex-spouses have been in court for 7 years

A divorced couple in Illinois has failed to reach a final divorce settlement after seven years of litigation. In April, Cancer Treatment Centers of America founder Richard Stephenson and his former wife Alicia Stephenson formally dissolved their 18-year marriage. However, the couple still has not been able to reach a final agreement about property division.…
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Why prenuptial agreements should not be overly harsh

When an Illinois couple is preparing to get married, they may be thinking about entering into a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement can help people to protect their assets, but it is important to write them in a way that is fair for both parties. Some people make the mistake of focusing only on keeping…
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The effect of state laws on divorce

State laws govern various aspects of divorce, including the division of property. Each state has its own unique laws and procedural criteria. Illinois residents who are thinking about divorce may benefit from learning more about their state’s divorce laws and how those laws would affect the division of their assets. States often impose certain conditions…
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Important financial matters during divorce

An Illinois resident who is getting a divorce should keep in mind that it can be an expensive process. First, there are legal and filing fees, but there is also the expense of finding a new place to live and replacing furniture and other possessions. Securing accounts and passwords is a first important step along…
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Civil Unions – how far back do we value assets?

In a recent decision by the Second District Appellate Court, the Court held that as of the effective date of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act ( the “Act”), (effective June 1, 2011) Illinois recognizes any civil union that was legally entered into in another jurisdiction as valid from the date on…
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Gifts vs. Loans in Divorce

Many married couples receive financial assistance or assets from their family members. If the parties file for divorce, how should these assets be classified and divided by the court? Illinois excludes property acquired by gift from a third party from the marital estate, because these gifts are not earned by the efforts of marital partnership.…
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Protecting money without a prenuptial agreement in Illinois

Although a prenuptial agreement is a great way to protect assets in a divorce, there are other options available as well. One of the best ways to protect assets during a divorce is to keep separate funds in a separate account. As soon as funds are commingled, they could become eligible for division in a…
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In a divorce, artists are required to list artwork as assets

When couples in Illinois are getting divorced, the spouses are required to assemble a list of all assets. For artists, this includes works of art that have been created since the marriage was formed, and in some cases, since the separation. Placing value on artwork can be a difficult process, but there are multiple ways…
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How to protect a credit score while getting a divorce

A divorced person in Illinois may have the misconception that a divorce decree that mandates an ex-partner’s responsibility to pay off certain debts protects them from being affected by late or missed payments. However, even if a divorce decree assigns a few specific accounts to an ex-spouse, creditors might still deem both parties responsible for…
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How marital property is divided in Illinois courts

When a couple gets a divorce in Illinois, the property that both parties acquired during marriage is not divided equally in half. If a couple cannot reach a Marital Settlement Agreement on their own that lays out the division of their marital assets, then a judge will look at a variety of factors to determine…
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Complex property division in Michael Moore divorce

In Illinois, when spouses divorce, equitable distribution is the principle used to divide marital property. Of course, “equitable” is not necessarily synonymous with “equal.” When complex assets are involved, one spouse could be entitled to more property than the other. Matters can become particularly complicated if a divorce involves a combination of business assets, separate…
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After divorce, some family-run businesses thrive

Any Chicago couple that has gone through divorce knows that property division is a major factor. Unraveling your intertwined lives to decide who gets what, however, is rarely easy — especially when you have a family business at stake. Millions of married couples in this country operate small businesses, but if their relationship sours, they…
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Prenuptial agreements not romantic, but extremely practical

Of all the family law issues a married couple might face throughout their relationship, property division usually isn’t the most emotional one — at least on its surface. When it comes to divorce, child custody and child support tend to dominate the feelings of spouses. But that doesn’t mean dividing up the material possessions won’t…
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As household revenues increase, so too does the divorce numbers

While we welcome good economic times, a higher divorce rate can also come about when the economic forecast improves.  One couple stayed together in what they considered an unhappy marriage because they did not feel they could afford to divorce.  The couple is now going through the process of divorce as revenues in the company…
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Whether to file bankruptcy or divorce first

When a couple is considering divorce, financial issues are often considered. A couple may not be sure whether they should file for divorce first or for bankruptcy, since both involve the court system. However, if the couple works together, they can make decisions that will help both of them deal with the financial issues that…
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