When a marriage ends and a couple begins the divorce process, they will have to split their marital assets in a process called property division. This is often one of the areas of divorce that generate the most disputes, especially when a couple has a complex financial portfolio.
If you are thinking about getting divorced, you probably have questions about what will happen to your assets and how you can best protect your rights. Rest assured, our attorneys at Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. are here to answer all of your questions about property division.
Marital Property vs Non-Marital Property
Illinois is an equitable distribution state, and just as its name suggests, the courts will order a division that is meant to be fair for both parties. Does that include everything a couple owns?
Anything acquired prior to the marriage, gifted, or given as an inheritance is considered non-marital property and will not be subject to division. All other assets will fall under the marital property category and must be divided equitably, which does not necessarily mean 50/50. After it’s determined which property is marital property, either the couple or courts will assign a monetary value to the items.
Illinois Property Division
To determine what kind of division is fair, a judge will consider the following factors:
What is stated in any prenuptial agreements;
The length of the marriage;
Each spouse’s age and health;
If one spouse is receiving alimony;
Each spouse’s occupation, skills, and employability;
The value of the property;
Each spouse’s contributions to obtaining, growing, and maintaining the property;
Each spouse’s prior obligations (child support from another marriage);
Each spouse’s economic circumstances;
The tax consequences of the property division;
And any other factors that are deemed relevant to the case.
You can leave property division up to a judge, but it’s recommended that couples come to this agreement on their own with their attorneys. This is often the quickest way to finalize a divorce and the best way to ensure that you obtain the property you wish to own.
Valuing and dividing your assets can be overwhelming on your own, but we’re committed to making things easier for you. Our experienced attorneys have been helping couples get a fair and favorable settlement since 2009.
We are here to help pave the way to a brighter tomorrow. Reach out to our Illinois property division lawyers today at (312) 487-2795 to schedule a consultation.