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Wheaton divorce lawyersAs more and more couples wait longer to enter into marriage for the first time, along with the rising prevalence of remarriage, individuals have more time than ever to accumulate wealth and property on their own. Extensive personal assets, of course, can make a subsequent divorce much more complicated, as it becomes difficult to differentiate between marital and non-marital property. For just reason, those who have started a business or obtained ownership of a company prior to marriage are encouraged to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

While the law in Illinois already provides that property or assets acquired prior to a marriage are not considered marital property, complications can still arise. For example, if your spouse owned a company before you got married, the company itself may not be part of the marital estate, but income generated by your spouse’s efforts after the marriage are usually considered to be marital. Similarly, any marital property invested into the company during your marriage may need to be reimbursed to the marital estate in the event of divorce, even as the company ownership remains non-marital.

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Help?

Many of the financial concerns related to your company can be addressed long before they ever become a big problem, through the use of a prenuptial agreement. You and your soon-to-be spouse can negotiate an agreement to keep the business ownership and operation completely separate from the marital estate. You can also plan in advance on how invested marital property is to be handled.

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Wheaton divorce attorneyWhen you and your spouse make the decision to get a divorce, your assets must be valued in order to determine a fair split of the property you accumulated during the marriage. One of the most complex valuations you will experience is the appraisal of any business you own together. Business valuations can quickly grow contentious and accusatory, and having the right attorney on your side may make the difference between an equitable settlement and a long drawn-out battle.

Potential Points of Contention

Unless there is a prenuptial agreement governing the distribution of the business shares, a business that is determined to be a marital asset is subject to division during a divorce. When a couple has worked in the same business, it can be quite difficult to tell what effect each person has had on the company as opposed to their collective effort. One of the most common problems encountered in business valuations is the perception of each spouse and how it may radically differ. For example, one spouse may look at the business and see the worst-case scenario, while the other may see only growth. It tends to depend on who is leaving and who is staying.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree