Splitting up your marital property will likely be one of the most contentious parts of your upcoming divorce. You and your ex may have emotional attachments to the same property or may have very different opinions about what would be fair.
If you can’t agree on your own, you will have to ask a judge to divide your property. Illinois uses the equitable distribution standard, which means that fairness is the top priority. However, what is fair the one person may seem arbitrary to another.
Trying to push for a fair outcome in your Illinois divorce requires that you understand not just what assets are part of your marital estate but also the accurate or fair market value for those assets currently.
How the judge divides your property depends on the value of assets
The family law judge presiding over your divorce has to factor in multiple concerns when deciding the best way to split your property. One of the most important considerations will be the overall value of the various assets that they allocate to each spouse.
You should not assume that you know what the current market value is for anything that could change substantially, such as real estate, jewelry, investment accounts or even collectibles. Verifying the actual value of the biggest assets in your estate will put you in a position to ask for a fair and reasonable portion of your marital assets, even if you don’t want to keep specific property that belongs to your spouse. You may even need to work with professionals to set realistic prices in some cases.
The more you know about how Illinois handles divorce, the harder it will be for your ex to trick or manipulate you during the process. Working with an experienced advocate is also a good way to protect your interests.