If you are contemplating or currently going through a divorce in Illinois, you probably have a whole team of friends and family willing to help get you through tough times. Unfortunately, when this assistance comes in the form of legal advice on property division in divorce, misconceptions abound. You may hear that a “friend of a friend” recently got everything in a dissolution of marriage case, while someone else might relate how their cousin lost it all. It can be difficult to separate valid, credible details from conjecture.
One of your first priorities, when confounded by misconceptions, is to reach out to a Lombard property division attorney right away. Bad information can have a profound impact on your rights in a divorce case, and you put your interests at risk by attempting to address the complicated legal issues on your own. Still, it may help to debunk some of the myths about property division that do more harm than good.
Myth 1: Marital property is split equally between divorcing couples.
Illinois follows the law of equitable distribution when dividing assets acquired during the marriage, with the language of the property division statute requiring the court to divide items “in just proportions.” As such, the principles of equity and fairness apply when distributing assets, so the split may not be exactly 50-50.
Myth 2: A cheating spouse gets nothing.
Just as adultery does not have an impact on the grounds for a divorce in a no-fault state like Illinois, cheating does not affect how a court divides marital property. The statute includes 12 different factors a judge can review when making a determination on asset division, such as the duration of the marriage and the relevant economic circumstances of the parties.
Myth 3: Property division does not impact other aspects of divorce.
Within the 12 statutory factors, you should note that there are a few provisions on asset distribution that relate to issues you could face in divorce. Examples include custody of minor children and whether the court awards spousal maintenance to a lower-earning spouse.
Myth 4: Marital debts are separate from marital property.
The statute itself clears up this misconception, stating that “marital assets” include debts and other legal obligations. The same principles of equitable distribution apply to dividing financial responsibilities fairly between the parties.
Myth 5: Litigation is the only way to resolve disputes over property division.
This is not true, since divorcing couples are encouraged to agree on how to divide assets. If you can compromise on distributing some or all property, the court will accept your agreement without having to conduct a hearing.
Retaining a Skilled DuPage County, IL Divorce Lawyer is Critical
Another key myth to avoid about property division in an Illinois divorce case is thinking you do not need legal representation. When you have a skilled Wheaton property division attorney on your side, you know your rights are protected. For more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, please call A. Traub & Associates at 630-426-0196.