Divorce laws vary from state to state, and it is essential to understand how your specific state handles the division of marital property when going through a divorce. In Illinois, the division of assets is guided by the principle of “equitable distribution,” which means that assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally. This stands in contrast to the concept of a “50/50 divorce state,” where marital property is split right down the middle. When you hire an experienced Hinsdale divorce lawyer, they can help you understand how this framework will impact your divorce.
Equitable Distribution 101
Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that when a couple divorces, the court will aim to divide marital assets and debts fairly based on various factors. The goal is to achieve a division that considers each spouse’s financial situation, contributions to the marriage, and needs after the divorce. This approach recognizes that fairness does not always equate to a strict 50/50 split.
Factors Considered in Equitable Distribution
Illinois courts consider numerous factors when dividing marital property, including the following:
Contributions to the Marriage
The court assesses both financial and non-financial contributions each spouse made to the marriage. This includes contributions as the primary wage earner, homemaker, caregiver, or support for a spouse’s education or career advancement.
Duration of the Marriage
The duration of the marriage can also impact how the court determines that assets should be divided. For instance, longer marriages may result in a more balanced distribution of assets, as both spouses have had more time to contribute to the marriage’s financial stability.
The court considers each spouse’s earning capacities, including their education, job skills, and potential for future income. This helps ensure that both parties can move forward with financial stability.
Needs, Obligations, and Contributions to Assets
The court considers each spouse’s financial needs and obligations, including childcare costs, alimony, and existing debt. Suppose one spouse played a more significant role in accumulating certain assets. In that case, their contribution may be acknowledged during the division process.
If minor children are involved in the divorce, the court may consider the custody arrangement and the needs of the children when determining how assets are distributed.
Marital vs. Non-Marital Property
It is also important to note that not all property is subject to division. In Illinois, only marital property is considered for division. Marital property typically includes assets a couple acquired during the marriage, while non-marital property includes assets spouses owned individually before the marriage, through inheritance or gift, or after a legal separation. A skilled Hinsdale divorce lawyer can help you identify what may or may not be marital property in your divorce.
Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorney Today for Help
While Illinois does not strictly follow a 50/50 division model, it does emphasize equitable distribution, which considers a range of factors to ensure that assets are divided fairly based on the specific circumstances of each case. If you are considering a divorce in Illinois, it is wise to consult with an experienced Hinsdale divorce attorney who can guide you through the intricacies of equitable distribution and help you achieve a fair and satisfactory outcome. Contact [[title]] online or by phone at [[phone]] today to schedule your no-obligation case consultation.