Property division is vital in a divorce process. In Illinois, any property acquired during a marriage and before the official judgment of separation is considered marital property. Thus, it’s subject to division.
Illinois is an equitable distribution state. This means that the court won’t split the property 50/50. They will consider certain factors, such as a spouse’s current and future needs, to make fair decisions.
However, some mistakes can work to your disadvantage. The following are three property division mistakes to avoid.
Not valuing your assets
It will help to list all your marital property, including digital ones, and then get a professional to value them. You should know the current values of each and potential future ones. This can help you identify an asset whose value is expected to depreciate significantly in the future.
Further, you should understand that two assets of the same value may not be equal. Some assets are associated with huge taxes. Accordingly, they may not benefit you as intended.
Hiding assets can get you into trouble. Thus, once your divorce process has started, avoid “gifting” people money, setting up trusts, buying new possessions, hiding cash or paying off loans suddenly. Your spouse will have a professional team who can find hidden assets. It’s also wrong to devalue your assets. You should report your assets with accurate values.
Keeping your name on liabilities
If your spouse receives an asset with a debt, such as the family home or car, you should take your name off them. This is because if they fail to make mortgage or car payments, creditors may hold you responsible since your name is on them. This can also affect your credit score.
You should approach the property division process with adequate information. Further, get professional help to protect your interests.