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Lombard divorce lawyersThe process of property division is often a challenging part of any divorce. However, when high net worth comes into the equation, things can get extremely complex and very contentious. It is a good idea to engage a qualified attorney to help guide you and your soon-to-be-former spouse through with a minimum of trouble.

“High Net Worth” Defined

The term “high net worth” divorce is actually somewhat of a misnomer, because a couple does not necessarily have to be particular wealthy to fit this category in divorce law. Rather, they must have assets that can be complex to divide; it just so  happens that in many instances, complex assets include many that are extremely valuable. Not everyone has assets such as specific types of retirement accounts, antiques, or complicated investments, and it can require more skill and time to handle them effectively.

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equitable property divisionIllinois, like the majority of states in this country, is not a community property state when it comes to dividing up the marital estate during a divorce. Instead, the decision is based on "equitable distribution" of a couple’s assets. Equitable distribution does not mean assets are split in half, with each spouse receiving 50 percent. Instead, it is the court who decides what an equitable and fair division is.

In some cases, spouses are able to negotiate an agreement between themselves, or with the help of their attorneys, and the judge’s signature is a formality needed to make the agreement legal. In many other cases, however, a judge is the one who makes the decision of what is an equitable distribution based on the evidence each spouse introduces into trial.

There are several factors a judge will consider when making his or her decision. These factors include:

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divorce yard sale, garage sale, property division, divorce, Illinois divorce lawyerOne of the most acrimonious parts of a divorce can be the negotiations regarding how the marital assets are going to be divided. Even the friendliest of divorces can suddenly turn nasty over a piece of who is going to get a certain piece of furniture, book collection, paintings, etc.

The NY Daily News recently reported a story about one divorcing couple who, after a few years of fighting over how several hundred dollars’ worth of items should be divided between the two of them, are holding a "divorce yard sale." The couple will be auctioning off furniture, cars, clothing, jewelry, paintings and antiques. Selling off items that are part of a marital estate and splitting the proceeds is not uncommon. It is not only for people who are involved in high-asset divorce cases. Any couple who has items that they jointly own may decide to sell those items if they cannot reach an agreement as to who should retain ownership of which items. Depending on the value and number of the items you are looking to sell, there are several options to getting the most amount of money for your items. If you have antiques to sell, then you should contact an antiques appraiser/dealer to find out what the worth of these items is. A dealer may also be able to help find a buyer for the items. It is also probably in your best interest to have the items appraised by more than one dealer. If you have many items to sell, contact estate sale company to coordinate the sale. These companies will help coordinate how your items are marketed, selling large ticket items separately and dividing the smaller items into "lots" which multiple items sold together. Consignment shops are a great place to sell items like clothing and smaller household items, such cookware and decorating items. If you would rather not have to deal with transporting these items to the shop, there are online sites where you can also post these items for sale. On Ebay.com, your item is posted for a limited amount of time and interested parties can bid on it, just like in an auction. At the end of the auction – typically 3 to 5 days – the highest bidder wins the item. All transactions are done online and delivery is done through shipping.

Locally, Craigslist.com allows  you to list the items you have for sale online and determine cost and delivery/pickup method. It’s similar to having an online yard sale by putting you in touch with people who may be interested in your property.

However you decide to divide up your marital estate, make sure you have an experienced Lombard family law attorney representing you to ensure that you get what you are entitled to.
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