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Real Estate and Divorce: Structured Settlements

real estate, division of property, structured settlementDividing marital property can be among the most challenging of all divorce considerations, as most negotiations with long-term effects often are. Some parts of the process may be pretty simple, such as each spouse agreeing to keep the vehicle they primarily drove, or who gets the matching end-tables. Others, however, may be more difficult, especially those which take into account property or real estate with significantly higher value, such as the marital home or investment properties. For some couples, a structured settlement may offer an opportunity for both parties to benefit without necessarily forcing the sale of property that one spouse may wish to keep.

While Illinois law requires that marital property be divided equitably—and prior agreement between the spouses is generally seen as equitable—there is no requirement that the property division process must be completed immediately. While some couples may prefer that the process be finalized quickly, others may find that their assets and the needs are better served with a more creative solution.

Structured Settlements Can Balance Assets Over Time

Any marital property of relatively high value may be difficult to offset in the divorce process. This is particularly true of assets such as real estate which may not be easily converted into cash, or which one party wishes to keep, either as a home or as an investment. In conjunction with the rest of the property division considerations, the party wishing to retain the high-value property can, essentially, buy out the other spouse’s interest in the property with structured payments over a period of time.

A structured settlement can help a couple set up the appropriate payments to provide for the equitable distribution of property, such as may be necessary based on the circumstances. Other martial assets may offset some of the property’s value, such as the allocation of vehicles or liquid assets to the other party, but the settlement can help a couple find an agreeable meeting point at which neither party is left unable to remain appropriately self-sufficient due to the outcome of the asset division.

As payments made over the course of a structured settlement represent divided marital property, the principal amount of such payments is not taxable to the receiving party. Added interest, which is common in a structured settlement, is considered taxable, and should be properly considered during the negotiation phase.

Legal Help for Your Divorce

If you are considering divorce and are interested in negotiating a settlement to help you keep an investment property or business, you need the professional representation that only a qualified lawyer can provide. Contact an experienced divorce attorney in St. Charles today and start building a plan for your future.

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