Experienced Divorce and Family Law Representation

Property Division Lawyers For Chicago And Throughout Chicagoland

In a divorce, many financial items must be taken into consideration. Property division is oftentimes the most contested issue in a divorce. Each spouse has contributed in some way to the family’s finances. Some may have been primary breadwinners. Others may have provided emotional support and stayed home with the children. Regardless of how you contributed to the marriage and the family home, you want your contribution and investment recognized. If you have decided to divorce in Chicago, Cook County, or anywhere in Illinois, you need experienced representation to protect your financial investment in your marriage.

Whenever precious marital assets and property are in play, especially in high net worth divorces, the law firm you can count on for aggressively safeguarding your interests is O'Connor Family Law, P.C., asset division lawyers in Chicago.

Our lawyers will do whatever is necessary, legally, to guarantee your smooth transition to a brighter post-divorce future. We have nearly 30 years of combined experience and understand how property division directly impacts that transition.

Understanding Marital Property In Illinois

Marital property refers to any assets that either spouse accumulated during the marriage. All marital assets can be subject to division under Illinois property division laws. Since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, marital property is typically divided based on what the court believes is a fair distribution of assets. What a judge believes is fair can vary substantially. However, many will often account for factors such as how: 

  • Long the marriage lasted
  • Financially stable, each spouse is
  • Much each spouse materially contributed to the marriage
  • Much nonmaterial support each spouse provided to the marriage
  • Physically healthy, each spouse is

Call us today at 312-445-0577 to tell us more about your situation. Then, we can help you understand your circumstances and devise a tailored strategy for moving forward. 

What Assets Are Considered Marital Assets? Which Ones Aren’t?

It can largely depend on the couple’s circumstances. Here are some basic examples of both: 

Marital Property

Can include: 

  • The family home
  • Shared investments
  • Rental properties (domestic and international)
  • Joint bank accounts
  • Furniture
  • Pets
  • Family vehicles
  • Value earnings or profits from a business

Nonmarital Assets

Can include: 

  • Inheritance designated exclusively for one spouse
  • Any asset or property a spouse owned before the marriage 
  • Any property excluded from division through a prenuptial agreement 

If you have any questions about which of your assets are or aren’t considered marital property, contact us today. 

Prenups And Marital Property

Suppose you are about to get married and want to designate what will or won’t be marital property should you and your partner divorce. In that case, a prenup can help you establish what is yours and what is theirs early on to reduce any potential confusion later. 

If you have a prenuptial agreement, want to obtain one, or challenge one, we are here to help.

A Thorough Assessment Of Your Assets

We investigate your finances individually and as a couple, access the services of forensic accountants who take a careful look into the possibility of hidden assets, and work hard to mediate, negotiate or litigate resolutions you can live with when any combinations of these holdings are at stake during your Illinois divorce:

  • Real estate – Primary, vacation and retirement residences, rental properties and undeveloped land
  • Deferred income
  • Retirement income
  • Stocks, stock options and restricted stock
  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Collectibles and memberships
  • Inheritances
  • Businesses

In many instances, it takes years, if not decades, for a married couple to accumulate property and assets. You may have had many shared dreams about owning a vacation home, a family business or growing your investments. While that happened, you may have been further away from your spouse. As you divide assets, you want a law firm that understands the time, energy and money you have put into building your dreams. We can now help you move forward to the next chapter of your life with a firm grasp on many of those dreams you once had. We can help you maintain as much of your property, assets and wealth as possible.

Uncovering Hidden Assets In Divorce

It’s not uncommon for one spouse to try and hide their assets from another during a divorce. However, it can become a problem if the money one spouse tries to hide is from the marital money pot. If you believe your soon-to-be ex-spouse is doing this in your divorce, we can work diligently to uncover those assets and fiercely advocate for your fair share. One of the ways you can discover these hidden assets is through forensic accounting. Our skilled attorneys, or an outside forensic accountant can thoroughly investigate your spouse’s finances to see if and where they might be hiding money. Some of the things they look into can include: 

  • Bank statements/records (including ones for shared and personal accounts)
  • Business activity and transactions
  • Credit card statements
  • Property records 
  • Company filings

Reviewing all of these statements and records from a forensic accountant can give us a thorough understanding of your spouse’s day-to-day activities, how they’re spending their money and if they’re engaging in transactions that may seem suspicious. 

What If Your Spouse Tries To Hide Money Before The Divorce? 

In Illinois, intentionally hiding money before initiating a divorce is not legally permitted. If you believe your spouse engaged in hiding money, or wasted, gifted or squandered assets, you should contact a trusted Chicago attorney. In divorce proceedings, proving unlawful hiding or wasting of money is known as dissipation, and you typically must prove that your spouse took money out of your marital account and used it in a way that reduced its worth or value while you and your spouse’s marriage were starting to break down. If you can prove that, you could get reimbursed for those lost assets, depending on the circumstances. 

If a spouse accuses you of dissipation, you have to prove that the money you took and used during that period was for a marital reason. 

Award-Winning Property Division Attorneys Who Are Here To Help

At O'Connor Family Law, P.C., our Chicago property division attorneys listen carefully to and take detailed note of your wishes and goals for the property division phase of your uncontested, contested or high-asset divorce. We respond honestly to your questions, offer facts and options you should be aware of, and provide maximum access to our expertise from start to finish.

For the quality representation you need and the one-on-one service you deserve, call us now at 312-445-0577 or email us.