High-asset divorces tend to focus on the most obvious and pressing properties to divide, such as homes, businesses and retirement accounts. These are highly valuable and have long-term financial and lifestyle consequences.
However, they are not the only assets that matter. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning that you will receive a fair but not exactly equal portion of marital property. All assets need to be on the table so you can get your fair share, and the more options you have, the better off you will be if you lose out on the house or business.
- Vehicles: Do you own a boat? Does your husband collect vintage cars? Vehicles of all kinds have significant worth and usability.
- Art and decor: Go through your house and take note of all valuable artwork, antiques and other home decor.
- Collectibles: Even if you share no interest in the collection hobby of your spouse, whatever he or she acquired during the marriage partially belongs to you. Get a professional valuation for these items.
- Animals: All pets have sentimental value, but some pets and other animals also come with high worth due to their abilities. For example, do you breed dogs or raise horses?
- Cemetery plot: If you had hoped to lie alongside your spouse upon death, now is the time to reserve the spot just for you.
The above are all tangible belongings, but you must also remember intangible assets. Common types include rewards programs, country club memberships, tax refunds, investments, term life insurance and intellectual property.
Anything that qualifies as marital property you have a right to keep all or part of. Marital property consists of anything you or your spouse obtained during the marriage. According to Illinois law, exceptions include inheritances and gifts from others. Separate property the value of which has increased with your help requires reimbursement. If you have a pre- or postnuptial agreement, your asset division may be subject to those terms instead.