November 20, 2012

Trouble Splitting Up Assets in Your Illinois Divorce? You're Not Alone
-- Certain pieces of property do not easily lend themselves to division. Learn more about untangling the issues involved with difficult to divide property in divorce. --

    November 20, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When it comes to things like bank accounts and stock portfolios, splitting up marital belongings may feel almost like a business transaction; while the amount going to either party is subject to haggling, the assets are essentially objectively valued and interchangeable.

But what about more complicated property? From sentimental items like grandma's china to high-value houses, art collections and even professional sports franchises, a variety of difficult to divide property has been responsible for holding up divorce negotiations.

While you may not be able to get absolutely everything you want in your divorce, the right strategies can help you come out ahead. What's more, if you go into divorce negotiations with a better idea of how difficult to divide assets can be handled, you will avoid one of the biggest divorce stumbling blocks that leaves many former partners bickering and racking up more legal fees than necessary.

Making tradeoffs, viewing true worth and keeping emotions in check

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is always a great idea if there is some particular asset you want to ensure stays in your name. Of course, most couples do not have these types of agreements, and once divorce is looming, it is probably far too late to approach your spouse about delineating property ownership. Yet, even without a predetermined agreement in place, there are other ways to pursue your goals in property division.

Assuming you don't want to "sell it all" and divide the proceeds (or you can't viably sell an asset, due to tax implications, sentimental attachment, etc.), one of the simplest solutions is to give up something else of value in return for the item you want. Are you attached to that priceless fresco hanging in the living room? Well, your former spouse may be willing to part with it in return for a larger cut of retirement accounts.

If you do choose to trade one type of asset in return for another, it is essential to gauge the true worth of an item, not just its current market value. For example, let's say your home is worth $750,000 on the real estate market and is completely paid off. If you really want to keep the home and your former spouse agrees to give it to you in return for $750,000 cash in a joint bank account, would you be getting a fair deal? Not necessarily; assuming your home has appreciated in value, you'd have to pay capital gains tax on any increase in value beyond the $250,000 capital gains exclusion for a single person when you eventually sell your home. What's more, you have to take into account how the ownership expenses of having a home (property taxes, upkeep and maintenance, energy costs, etc.) will affect your budget. When you consider the whole picture, a home that appears to be worth $750,000 is probably actually worth far less when factoring in all variables.

Above all else, there is one piece of advice that can keep you grounded and achieve better results in negotiation: take emotions out of the equation and think financially. You might think you can't live without the family's antique furniture, or the beachfront vacation property, or any number of other items. But the fact is, you can. The sooner you accept this and bring that attitude to the negotiating table, the better your odds of not having to live without the things you want.

Talk to a Chicago high net asset divorce attorney

Experienced legal help is an essential element of every successful divorce, and this is especially true for divorces involving high net worth individuals and/or difficult to divide property. Talk to a Chicago divorce attorney today to learn more about the best options for splitting up assets in your divorce.

Article provided by Wolfe & Stec, Ltd.
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