Property issues concern classification, valuation and allocation.
Classification relates to whether the property is marital or non-marital. All property acquired during the marriage is marital, regardless of how it is titled. Nonmarital property is property acquired before the marriage, excluded by a valid agreement, or property acquired during the marriage by gift, legacy, or descent.
Valuation concerns property that has a subjective value, meaning, reasonable minds can differ. An examples would be a home, business, or artwork. Sometimes parties agree on the value and stipulate. Where there are differences, you will need to make use of expert services, such as an accountant, appraiser or valuation expert.
Illinois law allocates property and debt based on the “equitable distribution” standard. Equitable is not always the same as equal. The court considers a number of factors in determining an equitable distribution, including:
• The economic contributions of each party
• Non-economic contributions, such as a homemaker contribution
• Depletion or waste of marital estate
• Duration of the marriage
• Relevant economic circumstances of both parties
• any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements;
• the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties;
• the custodial provisions for any children;
• amount of maintenance paid or received;
• the reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income; and
• the tax consequences of the property division upon each party
Distribution of property becomes more difficult in proportion to the size and complexity of your estate. The attorney’s experience and credential should be in keeping with the nature of your property issues.
EXPERTS IN ASSET ALLOCATION
Property issues are at the core of our firm's expertise. We have successfully litigated numerous cases with eight figure estates, multimillion dollar incomes, complex assets, tracing issues related to estates with internationally held assets and other complicated matters that held profound ramifications. Our attorneys' skill set enables superior asset/liability allocation, discovery of hidden income/assets, support payment litigation. Examples of specific contexts include litigation involving:
Appraisal of Residential and Commercial Real Estate
Valuation of Closely Held Companies
Forensic Accounting and/or Tracing
Analysis of Diverse, Complex and/or Prodigious Classes of Assets/Liabilities
Arguments Regarding Upward/Downward Deviation from Guideline Support
Determination of True and Actual Income