Getting divorced in Illinois will result in all marital assets and debts being divided equitably between the spouses. Since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, the court will look to a variety of applicable factors to determine what a fair or equitable division of the property looks like based on the specific circumstances of the parties involved in the divorce. Yet in order to consider how to get to the stage of an equitable division of assets in divorce, the court must first classify all property as either non-marital or marital property, recognizing that only marital property will be subject to distribution.
The following is a general worksheet you can consider to help you understand how the court is likely to classify and divide assets in your Chicago divorce.
Identifying All Property Owned By the Spouses
Before any assets can be divided, the parties will need to provide detailed information about the property they own so that it can be appropriately classified as marital or non-marital (i.e., separate) property. Generally speaking, all property acquired by each spouse prior to the marriage, as well as property acquired during the marriage as a gift from a third party or through an inheritance, will be classified as non-marital property and will not be subject to division.
To ensure that the court has accurate information for classifying all assets, you should make a list of all assets you own. It can be helpful to separate the assets into categories based on the type of property, such as:
- Bank account(s)
- Retirement account(s)
- Stocks and other investments
- Real estate
- Business assets
- Motor vehicles and other vehicles such as boats
- Art and other collectibles
Once you have developed a worksheet that contains the categories for the property, you should provide detailed information about each of these assets, which should include the following:
- Description of the asset
- Date of purchase or acquisition
- Information about how you acquired the asset (i.e., through a purchase or as a gift)
- Purchase price of asset (if applicable)
- Insurance valuations or any other appraisals on record
If the asset is classified as marital property, the purchase price and any subsequent valuations or appraisals will be important for the court in determining an equitable distribution of the assets.
Documenting Relevant Factors Related to the Equitable Distribution of Assets
In addition to documenting detailed information about all assets you and your spouse own, it is also important to understand the factors the court is likely to use in dividing marital assets. You should work with your divorce lawyer to document information that is relevant to the equitable distribution factors outlined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/503).
Contact a Chicago Asset Division Attorney
When you are planning to file for divorce or your spouse has already filed a petition for the dissolution of marriage, it is important to begin planning for the division of marital assets with help from a Chicago asset division attorney. A lawyer at our firm can speak with you about creating a worksheet that allows you to document assets and debts, and to detail all information that will be relevant to the equitable distribution of marital property. Contact Michael C. Craven to learn more about asset division in a Chicago divorce.