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Division of property can be one of the most divisive moments during a divorce, because not always does everyone get exactly what they want. This is especially so when you live in a state like Illinois.

Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital assets are not equally distributed between spouses. Rather than dividing everything 50/50, the judge looks at each party’s current condition and future needs to determine what they get. Most cases are resolved with 70/30, 60/40 splits, and rarely some even give all marital property to one party.

The state of Illinois considers several factors before deciding on an asset division arrangement that is reasonable and fair for both parties.

Factors Considered During Marital Property Division

Marital property refers to property gained during the marriage. This includes real estate, bank accounts, cars, retirement/pension plans, stocks, and other assets.

Illinois courts make marital property divisions based on various factors that are listed in Illinois law. They include:

  • Each spouse’s contribution: this is the contribution each spouse may have contributed towards the acquisition of assets. Other contributions may also be observed, like performing household duties that helped increase or decrease the value of the home.
  • Duration of marriage
  • Value of property assigned to each party
  • The spouse’s status, which includes age, station in life, health, skills, income, and employability. If one party is going to be in a bad financial place after the divorce, and the other party is well off, the presiding judge will consider this. The health of either of the spouses is checked too.
  • Whether or not either party has previous child support obligations or spousal maintenance
  • The relevant economic circumstances: the court may sometimes be compelled to allocate more property to the less financially secure spouse as a way of affording them additional, albeit nominal, future security.
  • Custodial arrangements for the kids. The well-being of the children is also considered by letting the parent with whom the kids will live with receive certain assets like the family home. This ensures that children are not uprooted from their community and neighborhood.
  • A pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement
  • Any claims of financial dissipation or fraud made by either spouse. Dissipation is the use of marital assets for non-marital purposes, for example, using your family’s funds for an extramarital affair or wasting funds through gambling or drug addiction.
  • The tax implications of each asset
  • Each spouse’s debts: marital debt is equitably divided between the spouses, even if it is incurred by one spouse or under one spouse’s name. This can include credit cards, mortgages, and so on.

What you should keep in mind during marital property division

One important thing to keep in mind during a divorce is that dividing marital assets is inherently about compromise. You will not get everything you want, and the distribution process will involve you giving up your interest in a certain asset in exchange for sole ownership of another. Try and identify each other’s priorities for you to come to terms with the process.

Secondly, overlooking marital assets can lead to complicated problems post-divorce. To ensure you do not encounter any problems down the line, take the time to meticulously identify all your marital properties and put in the effort to comprehensively divide your assets during your divorce. The last thing you want is to wake up one morning and discover that you and your former partner still jointly own a piece of property after the divorce.

Hiring an attorney for proper asset division during divorce

Going through a divorce is not an easy process. Dividing your marital assets during divorce is even harder, especially if you have no one to help you out with the legal process. Several factors are expected to be presented to the courts to receive the fairest split. This could be challenging and mentally anguishing at the same time.

No matter where you are in the divorce process, Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC in Lake County, IL is ready to help. Our team of professionals has helped countless divorcing spouses understand their responsibilities and rights when it comes to property division during divorce. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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