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Divorce Finance Allocation is All in the Details

What is divorce allocation?  The allocation of marital and non-marital assets and liabilities is a key component of the financial aspect of any divorce.  It determines which spouse gets which asset and, on the other side of things, it determines which spouse is responsible for which liability.  An asset can include real estate, business interests, cash, bank or credit union accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, investment accounts, securities, brokerage accounts, mutual funds, notes, vehicles, boats, planes, trailers, life insurance policies, retirement benefits, deferred compensation, income tax refunds, lawsuit awards, collectibles, furniture and furnishings.  A liability includes any and all debts such as student loans, credit cards, mortgages, loans, taxes, and attorney’s fees.

Typically, you should compile all financial records for at least three years prior to the start of any divorce action. By organizing the records into files that correspond to the assets and liabilities discussed, it can save you both time and money in providing your legal counsel with the basic documentation needed to create a marital (and non-marital) balance sheet.  The balance sheet prepared by your divorce attorney should represent a full disclosure of all assets and liabilities of both parties, both individually and together.  When we are discussing full disclosure, you want to ensure that your divorce attorney is aware of all of your financial accounts.  If an account or information is not disclosed and found at a later date, that can be detrimental to your overall case, your position, and can possibly lead to sanctions in certain circumstances.  This will allow you a better understanding of the overall net value of your marital estate, which is a good starting point to discuss realistic settlement options and allocations with your divorce attorney.

If you are contemplating divorce or are already in the divorce process, consult with the experienced Chicago divorce attorneys of WARD FAMILY LAW now to determine your strategy, options, and next steps.  You can schedule an initial consultation with our founder, Jennifer Ward, by emailing her directly at jward@wardfamilylawchicago.com or calling our office at 312-803-5838.

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