How Will Our Antiques Collection Be Divided in Divorce?

How Will Our Antiques Collection Be Divided in Divorce?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

Many married couples in the Chicago area own valuable collections, from antique books to antique furniture. When one of those spouses makes the decision to file for divorce, there is a good likelihood that much, if not all, of the collection, will be classified as marital property and will be subject to distribution in the divorce. If you own an antique collection of any type with your spouse and you are anticipating or planning for a divorce, you are likely wondering how that antique collection will be divided. We want to provide you with some key considerations to keep in mind.

How and Whether the Collection Will Be Divided Depends on Whether It is Marital Property

First and most importantly, you will want to know whether the court will classify some, all, or none of the antique collection as marital property for purposes of property division. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), most property acquired during the marriage will be classified as marital property and will be subject to division. The only exceptions are assets that are excluded from distribution by the terms of an enforceable premarital agreement, assets acquired by gift or through an inheritance, and assets acquired by one spouse with that spouse’s separate property. In most cases, at least some of a couple’s collection will be classified as marital property. Even if one spouse owned some of the pieces prior to the marriage, any items acquired after the date of the marriage will be considered marital property unless one of those exceptions applies.

Illinois Courts Divide Marital Property According to the Rule of Equitable Distribution

Assuming some or all the antique collection is marital property that will be divided, the next thing to know is the IMDMA requires courts to divide marital property according to the theory of equitable distribution. There are several statutory factors the court can consider to determine what an equitable, or fair, distribution of the antique collection looks like. Factors include, for example, the earning capacity of the parties, the health of the parties, and the standard of living established during the marriage.

You May Be Able to Negotiate with Your Spouse and Enter into a Marital Settlement Agreement

If you want to play a bigger role in determining how the antique collection is divided, or if you want to negotiate with your spouse to keep the collection intact by giving up other assets, you can negotiate a marital settlement agreement. Your Chicago area divorce attorney can discuss marital settlement agreements with you.

Contact a Chicago Area Divorce Lawyer

How will an antique collection be divided in a divorce? The answer depends upon several factors, as we discussed above. An experienced Chicago divorce lawyer can evaluate the specific facts of your case and help you to gain a better understanding of property division in your situation, and the options that may be available to you. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to learn more about how we can assist you. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC to speak with a Chicago area divorce attorney about your divorce.