Getting a divorce is rarely a simple matter of going into court and having a judge declare you divorced. Unless you have only been married for a few days or weeks, you must sort through and address many things. Your marital estate is one of these things and is often a contentious aspect of getting divorced.
Addressing the marital estate means dividing property between the two spouses. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, and courts consider many factors in determining a mutually fair division of assets and property. When significant wealth or complex assets are at stake, the process can become extra complicated.
What about a couple’s debts?
The marital estate includes both debts and assets, all of which are subject to a judge’s decision in many cases. Courts try to divide a couple’s debts fairly and without causing either party any undue financial hardships. Sometimes, the couple can come to a property agreement on their own.
If a judge approves the agreement, then the couple is not at the court’s mercy in terms of property and debt division. As you might expect, it is usually best if you can settle without court intervention. If you and your spouse cannot agree, the judge will decide on your behalf.
Can a lawyer help with property and debt division?
A family law attorney fills many indispensable roles in Chicago divorces, such as guiding you through the process of dividing your entire marital estate. As an advocate for you and your interests, he or she stands ready to fight on your behalf. In many cases, your attorney can help you present your side of the divorce to a court in a way that supports your property and debt division needs.