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IL divorce lawyerOne of the most consequential aspects of divorce is property distribution. The division of assets and debts can range dramatically in complexity. Younger couples who own little property will have a much easier time dividing their property during divorce. Asset division will be much more complicated for couples who own complex assets including businesses and professional practices. If your spouse owns a business or has business interests, the value of the business will likely be factored into any decisions you make about property division. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights.

Is the Business Part of the Marital Estate?

In Illinois, property in a divorce is classified as either marital property or non-marital property. Nearly every asset obtained by a spouse during the marriage is marital property. Assets acquired by inheritance or gift are the main exceptions. Property acquired before the marriage is typically classified as non-marital property. Both spouses have a right to an equitable share of marital property. Only the spouse who originally owned a non-marital asset has a right to that asset during divorce.

Identifying whether a business is classified as marital or non-marital property can be quite complex. Even if a spouse started or purchased the business before the marriage, part of all of the business may still be considered marital property. For example, if the non-owning spouse made financial contributions to the business or helped care for children while the business owner worked, the non-owning spouse may be entitled to a share of the business’s value during divorce. If you or your spouse own a business and you are getting divorced, make sure to work with a divorce lawyer who has experience handling complex property division concerns. Your lawyer can help you understand your rights and explore your legal options.

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