A major component of the divorce process – and one that will directly affect your financial future – is the division of your marital property. Generally, marital property refers to those assets (and debts) that you and your spouse acquired together as a married couple (regardless of who’s name is attached). Dividing your personal belongings in your divorce is so critical that you are well-advised to work closely with an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce attorney throughout the legal process.
Illinois: An Equitable Division State
Illinois is what is known as an equitable division state, and this means that your personal possessions will be divided in a way that the court determines is equitable – rather than necessarily equal. Further, misconduct, such as an extramarital affair, isn’t factored into the process.
Your Personal Belongings
Your marital property involves nearly everything of value that you’ve accumulated during your marriage, but it generally doesn’t include personal items like your clothing and jewelry. If, however, one of you owns a valuable collection of jewelry or watches, this fact may be factored into the division of marital property in your divorce.
On the other hand, your home furnishings – especially in a high-asset divorce – can add up in value quickly, and they will be considered part of your marital assets. For example, the following possessions can all be tallied into your joint assets:
- Laundry and kitchen appliances
- Premium cookware, silverware, and china
- The lawnmower (riding mowers are especially valuable)
- An expensive bedroom and/or dining room set
- High-end furniture and lighting fixtures
- Electronics, including your computers and televisions
- Recreational and fitness equipment
- Expensive tools and building equipment
- Antique, art, and/or wine collections
All told, these personal items can add up to considerable value and will likely not be discounted in the division of your marital property.
Dividing Your Assets
In determining how your personal belongings will be divided in your divorce, the court will generally calculate the value of said belongings and offset that value for your divorcing spouse by another means. The courts will take a wide range of factors into consideration when determining how to divide your marital assets overall, and these include:
- The terms of any prenuptial agreement
- The length of your marriage
- You and your spouse’s individual age, health, and station in life
- Whether one of you will receive alimony
- You and your spouse’s personal occupations, vocational skills, and general employability
- The value of the properties each of you has been assigned (including the personal belongings discussed)
- The amount of each of your liabilities and financial needs
- The tax consequences each of you will experience
Discuss Your Division of Property Concerns with an Experienced Rolling Meadows Property Division Lawyer Today
The equitable division of your marital property – including dividing personal property in your divorce – can become very complicated very quickly. The dedicated Rolling Meadows property division lawyers at the Delaney Heckman can help. Your rights matter, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.