Illinois is an “equitable division” state, which means the judge presiding over your case will determine what is fair when dividing marital property between you and your spouse during a divorce. However, the judge does not arbitrarily decide what is fair and equitable. Rather, the judge must follow factors provided under Illinois law which are listed below.
What Constitutes Marital Property?
Marital property under Illinois law means all property, including assets and debts, acquired by either spouse subsequent to marriage with very few exceptions. By this definition, property acquired prior to marriage is not included, except in certain special circumstances.
What Factors Will the Court Consider in Dividing Marital Property?
In equitably dividing marital property, Illinois property division courts are guided by several considerations established under the law, which include the following:
- Each party’s contribution to the acquisition of marital property;
- Value of the property assigned to each spouse;
- Wastage or hiding of assets;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Relevant economic circumstances of each party;
- Obligations arising from a prior marriage;
- Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement of the parties;
- Each party’s age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income;
- Custodial provisions for any children;
- Whether the apportionment is instead of or in addition to maintenance;
- Future income;
- Tax consequences; and
- Any valid agreements between parities such as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.
As you can see, dividing marital can be quite complicated. One might expect the party who brought in most of the income during the marriage should leave with most of the assets when the marriage is over, but this is not often the case. For example, a stay-at-home spouse whose value and contribution in the marriage cannot really be measured in dollars and cents may be awarded a substantial share of the marital property in recognition of that spouse’s efforts.
On the other hand, the spouse who brings to the marriage or racks up large debts during the marriage would likely be expected to carry the burden of those debts after dissolution of the marriage.
Contact a DuPage County Asset Division Attorney
At Mevorah Law Offices, LLC, we are dedicated to providing quality advice, steadfast guidance, experienced advocacy, and a superior level of client service in family law and divorce matters. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience advising and advocating for clients in a wide range of areas. If you are thinking about divorce and are wondering how the divorce will impact your assets, contact one of our experienced Bloomingdale family law lawyers who will provide you with the answers you seek and guide you through the process. Call us at 630-932-9100 for a free initial consultation.