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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have beeen married for 17 years.I owned a business before

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I have beeen married for 17 years.I owned a business before I was married and my wife was never involved in it or was a owner of record.Does she have any right to my company in a divorce.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

In Joynt v. Joynt, 874 N.E.2d 916, 375 Ill.App.3d 817, 314 Ill.Dec. 551 (Ill.App. Dist.3 08/16/2007), the Third District Appellate Cour stated:


  • The touchstone of whether apportionment of marital property was proper is whether it is equitable in nature; each case resting on its own facts. In re Marriage of Scoville, 233 Ill. App. 3d 746 (1992). An equitable division of property does not require mathematical equality. In re Marriage of Gentry, 188 Ill. App. 3d 372 (1989). Section 503 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Act) (750 ILCS 5/101 et seq. 2004)) lists certain factors to consider, including: (1) the value of the property assigned to each spouse; (2) the duration of the marriage; (3) the relevant economic circumstances of each spouse; (4) the age, health, station and occupation of each spouse; (5) the custodial provision for any children; and (6) the reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income. 750 ILCS 5/503(d) (West 2004). Absent an abuse of discretion, this court will not disturb the trial court's distribution of assets. In re Marriage of Kerber, 215 Ill. App. 3d 248 (1991).

In the same ruling, the court found that retained earnings of a business in which the spouse engaged in no entreprenurial effort was not marital property, because the rest of the marital estate was distributed fairly by the court. Thus, the question of whether or not your separate business is not marital property is somewhat irrelevant, because the court can rule "around" the problem.


I realize that this is definitely not what you wanted to read, but you may as well know now, that you cannot simply segregate your business off as nonmarital property so as to avoid having it considered in your divorce.


Hope this helps.


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