Versatile Lawyers for Basic or Complex Property Division Issues
You don't need a high income or a balanced investment portfolio to benefit from sophisticated legal advice on property issues in an Illinois divorce. Sometimes a major issue for a small marital estate will be the characterization of an asset like a house or pension as joint or separate property. In other cases, the apportionment of marital debts will be more important than the division of assets.
The property division lawyers of Shaw Law Ltd. serve the needs of a diverse clientele across the spectrum of problems concerning the just distribution of marital assets and liabilities. Our family law experience and our familiarity with real estate, tax law, estate planning and bankruptcy allow us to work toward comprehensive protection of your financial interests in divorce. We're convenient for clients in Lake County, McHenry County and northern Cook County.
Note that Illinois law requires an "equitable distribution" of assets and liabilities as opposed to a strictly even division like in Wisconsin. The law recognizes that many factors can make an uneven split fairer in practical terms than an equal division. Our attorneys can help you develop a strategy for achieving your objectives with respect to marital asset and debt division involving all kinds of property:
- Primary residence, vacation property or other real estate
- Motor vehicles
- Pensions, 401(k) accounts and other retirement benefits
- Investment assets, including stocks, bonds or other securities
- Stock options, whether they were granted or vested before or during marriage
- QDROs and QILDROs for dividing retirement benefits administered by third parties
- Military pensions or retirement benefits
- Family business assets or interests in closely-held corporations
- Commingled inheritances or gifts
- Art collections, sports memorabilia, antiques and other unique personal property
Marital property distribution generally seeks to avoid the liquidation of assets except as necessary to make a fair division work. You also need to consider how the marital debts will be paid.
Discuss Your Situation With an Illinois Debt Division Attorney
If your house is worth $500,000 but you only have $50,000 in equity, the house will be treated as a $50,000 asset, with the person keeping it responsible for the mortgage payments. Depending on each spouse's income and the availability of spousal maintenance payments, it might make sense to avoid the future risk of mortgage defaults by simply selling the house.
The same financial problems that can place fatal strains on a marriage can complicate the divorce as well. In some situations it can be advisable to seek bankruptcy protection prior to divorce, so that the parties can have an easier time dividing liabilities after the discharge of substantial indebtedness.
The family law attorneys of Shaw Law Ltd. can advise you about all of your options for property division, asset protection and debt management in both divorce and bankruptcy. For additional information, contact a Waukegan property division lawyer at our firm for a free in-office consultation.