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How Is Net Worth Calculated During A Divorce?

A large portion of every divorce is predicated on finances, which makes your net worth at the time of divorce an important matter. When a divorce is instigated, both parties are generally required to provide extensive information that addresses every facet of their finances. Because your financial rights and financial future are paramount, working closely with an experienced Chicago divorce attorney is always in your best interest. 

The Financial Affidavit

In Illinois, each spouse is required to submit a financial affidavit upon initiating the divorce proceeding. These forms are exhaustive and include all the following:

  • Physical copies of pay stubs and any other proof of earnings, income tax returns, bank statements, and other relevant documents verifying both debts and assets
  • Employment and business ownership information
  • Number of paychecks per year, annual gross income, and taxes paid
  • Other income related to self-employment or business ownership
  • Gross business receipts
  • Monthly income from all sources

While many of these items will be duplicates between you and your divorcing spouse, these affidavits amount to a very good start when it comes to assessing your net worth, which will guide the division of your marital assets in your divorce. 

Hiding Assets

While both divorcing spouses are required by law to list all their assets and debts in their entirety, this does not stop some unscrupulous parties from hiding, selling off, giving away, gifting, or otherwise dissipating marital assets in order to diminish net worth and, as a result, keeping more for themselves. Some factors that make such activity more likely include:

  • If your divorce involves high assets generally
  • If there is a business involved
  • If your spouse is far more involved in your family’s finances than you are
  • If your finances are complicated by factors such as one of you having joint holdings with someone other than your spouse
  • If there are significant separate assets involved

A Fair Division of Marital Property

In an Illinois divorce, you and your spouse must divide your net worth as a couple between you in a manner that is considered fair when factors like the following are taken into consideration:

  • The length of your marriage
  • The age and overall mental and physical health of both you and your spouse 
  • The terms addressed in a valid contractual agreement, such as a prenup or postnup
  • The earning potential of both you and your spouse
  • The tax implications of a proposed division of property
  • The separate property owned by each of you
  • Any wasting of assets by either of you
  • Any additional factors deemed relevant by the court

An Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney Is on Your Side

The fair division of your marital property is a primary term of your divorce, and the knowledgeable Chicago divorce attorneys at Hammer Serna & Quinn have the experience and drive to skillfully advocate for your rights – in focused pursuit of a just division. We are standing by to help, so please don’t put off contacting us for more information today.

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