As you prepare for your divorce, it is vital to have a thorough understanding of the laws and regulations governing the process in Illinois. One of these critical areas to understand is how property is divided in an Illinois divorce.
Below, learn about property division laws and rules in Illinois, and then speak to our Chicago property division lawyer if you have follow-up questions. Attorney Michael C. Craven is an experienced, fierce advocate for his clients, and he will fight for a proper settlement in your divorce.
Is Illinois A Community Property State?
No. In divorces, Illinois uses an equitable division of property rule. It is not a community property state. This means that property and other assets are not necessarily split 50/50. Instead, the divorce court will divide marital property based on the facts of each case, each spouse’s situation, and contribution to the marriage.
Any property acquired during the marriage is presumed marital property, while anything acquired before the union may be non-marital. However, the presumption may be rebutted in some cases. In Illinois, non-marital property includes the following property that is to be awarded to the owner. For a full list of non-marital property see 750 ILCS 5/503(a):
- Anything obtained by a spouse as an inheritance or gift.
- Anything a spouse acquires after the court grants a legal separation.
- Any property excluded from the marital state in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
- Any property acquired before the marriage, except as it relates to retirement accounts that have both marital and non-marital components.
It is important to know that certain actions can change the character of an asset; therefore, consulting with a family law attorney is always important.
How Illinois Courts Divide Marital Property
Divorce courts in Illinois equitably divide marital property based on many personal factors. These include the following:
- The length of the marriage
- Each person’s contributions to acquiring a specific asset
- The financial outlook of each party
- Any obligations each party has from earlier marriages
- Each party’s health and age
- Who will be taking care of the children, if any
Some of the assets and debts that are often considered marital property are:
- Real estate, including the marital home and investment properties
- Retirement plans
- Insurance policies
What About Commingled Property?
Commingled property is a combination of marital and non-marital property, and this category can complicate a divorce. For example, suppose you inherited a home you lived in with your spouse. You may think this is your separate property, but what if your spouse spent a year rehabbing it or marital monies were used to pay off the mortgage? This could lead to claims that the house is now marital or that the marriage is entitled to reimbursement in some measure, and you will need the help of a skilled property division attorney to sort things out.
If you cannot agree upon what marital and non-marital property is, it will be up to the judge to settle the matter. This is why selecting an experienced divorce attorney in Chicago is vital to your future.
Contact Our Chicago Property Division Lawyer Now
If you are stressed out about property division questions during an Illinois divorce, our Chicago property division lawyer Michael C. Craven understands. Property division is often one of the most complex parts of a divorce, and determining what marital or non-marital property is can be confusing. But with your attorney’s assistance, a fair outcome is possible for difficult property division questions. Call (312) 621-5234 today for a consultation about property division and other critical divorce-related topics.