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Valuing Tangible Assets in an Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Family Law

Naperville family law attorney, valuing tangible assets, Illinois divorce, marital assets, property divisionIndividuals who are familiar with the basic steps of a divorce in Illinois (or a divorce in any other state) know that, in many cases, one of the chief functions of the family law judge is to divide the marital assets of the divorcing parties in a “fair and equitable” manner.(Note, however, that some states follow “community property” rules and, therefore, the division of property follows slightly different principles.)

In the vast majority of Illinois divorce cases, the court’s goal is to award each a party assets and property of (roughly) equal value.

Methods of Determining the Value of Assets

This goal can only be achieved, however, if the court is aware of the value of the assets it is giving to each party. In other words, the court’s job can become quite difficult if there is no method whereby the court can determine the value of assets it has awarded to one party or the other. There are several methods, however, whereby an Illinois court can determine the value of assets:

  • Agreement of the parties: If the parties agree on the value of a particular tangible asset (such as a car or item of jewelry), the parties can stipulate this value and the value will usually be accepted by the court. While entering into a stipulation concerning the value of an asset can help speed the case along, parties are usually bound by their stipulations (meaning that $40,000 car that you stipulated was only worth $20,000 will be regarded as having a value of $20,000 if the court accepts the stipulation).
  • Fair market value: A court may value the asset by considering the fair market value of similar items and taking into account the particular asset’s age and damage (if any). For example, a court may consider the Kelly Blue Book value (or another similar value) for a vehicle and set the value of the asset accordingly.
  • Expert testimony: For those rare assets that do not have a fair market value (such as antiques or rare coins), the court may choose to establish the value of the asset in question after receiving and considering the testimony of one or more expert witnesses. Typically, a court will side with the value assigned by the expert who appears more disinterested and neutral in the dispute and whose credentials and method of valuation seem more credible.

Get Help from a Will County Family Attorney Today

Properly valuing the marital assets in your Illinois divorce is crucial to helping ensure you are not financially disadvantaged in the divorce process. Enlist the help and support of a passionate Naperville family law attorney from Robertson Legal Group, LLC to help you successfully navigate your divorce. Our experienced and skilled family law team will help ensure the court properly values the marital property so that the division of property can truly be “fair and equitable.” Contact our firm today and let us assist you in your Will County divorce proceeding.


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