One of the most urgent concerns clients have regarding their divorce is whether they will retain certain assets. As such, Kogut & Wilson attorneys take an incisive and assertive approach to this process, always ensuring that the court is informed of our clients’ needs and what they are entitled to as they enter this new stage of their lives.
Illinois Requirements for Division of Assets & Property
Illinois is an equitable property division state. While an equitable division may be 50/50, there are also many circumstances where the division of assets and/or debts may need to deviate in order to be equitable. For both spouses to lead separate lives following their divorce, their marital estate needs to be evaluated and divided between them, and the court will arrive at a division that is believed to be fair considering the unique circumstances of the couple.
Evaluation of Marital Estates
Nearly every asset, piece of property and debt acquired during the marriage is considered marital property, whether both parties know about the acquisition or not.
The first step in dividing the estate is evaluating its entire scope, and typically, spouses will do this voluntarily in the interest of a fair evaluation. Other times, a formal discovery phase—and even forensic accountants—are needed to provide the court full details of each spouses’ finances.
When all assets and debts are collected and valued, the court will consider:
- How each spouse contributed to the marital estate
- How each spouse spent money or incurred debt
- The length of the marriage
- The health and income of each spouse
- Child custody arrangements
- Financial obligations either spouse has from a previous marriage
- Other relevant economic circumstances
- The total value of the property assigned to each spouse
- The tax obligations each spouse stands to inherit
- Any viable prenuptial agreements in place
This can be a contentious process where points-of-view clash and emotions run high. Our team has the resources and insight to protect the integrity of the property division process and ensure that the court is thoroughly informed of what our clients should receive in a fair and equitable division.
Kogut & Wilson is an award-winning family law firm based in Chicago with extensive experience representing clients in all aspects of divorce and family law. Understanding the cases we work on are often sensitive, our team of trusted attorneys takes great care to provide personalized and effective approaches to meet clients’ ever-changing needs, no matter the complexity.