When couples seek a divorce in the state of Illinois, they will have to split up their shared property. If you are divorcing your spouse and curious about the property division process, then it can be helpful to review the state laws used to determine who will receive what in court.
Since Illinois follows equitable distribution laws, you shouldn’t expect to receive exactly half of every physical and financial asset you’ve accumulated together and individually during your marriage. Instead, you’ll receive a fair or equitable share of it.
Before jumping to the conclusion that an uneven division will be unfair, you can take a look at the factors a judge will consider when dividing your marital property. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act this may include:
- The amount each spouse contributed to the increase or decrease of marital property
- The length of your marriage
- Any postnuptial or prenuptial agreements you’ve made
- The age and health of you and your ex
- The number of income sources of each party
- The employability or job skills of each spouse
- How you will split custody after you separate
- What each party’s economic circumstances will look like immediately after divorce
- The tax consequences that each party will face after property division
It’s worth noting that any property you own that doesn’t fall under marital property classification is known as separate property. Separate property is not subject to division. Some examples of separate property include gifts and inheritances you’ve received during your marriage. Property you entered your marriage with is typically separate property as well. This could include a couch you brought from your premarital home and put into your marital home.
As you move through the legal process, it’ll be essential to gather all relevant documents that list your assets and prove that some of what you own is indeed separate property. A divorce attorney can help you develop a plan for property division and ensure you receive a fair share.