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How Is Marital Property Divided in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on November 25, 2020 in Division of Property in Illinois

Plainfield, IL divorce attorney property division

One of the most important matters that must be resolved in a divorce is the distribution of marital property. When a couple marries, they typically combine their finances – either intentionally or unintentionally. Undoing this financial entanglement is often complex. Spouses may not even be aware of what their property rights are during a divorce. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney if you are legally ending your marriage in Illinois.

Dividing Property Using an Agreement Between the Spouses

You and your spouse can decide how you want to divide your assets without court intervention. You will first need to make a full accounting of all of your assets and debts. You can then negotiate an arrangement for dividing the debts and assets on your own, with help from your respective attorneys, or through an alternative resolution method like mediation. In order for this strategy to work, each spouse must be completely honest about his or her finances. If a spouse hides assets or lies about financial information, the negotiations will be pointless and any arrangement that is decided will be based on false information.

Property Division Through the Courts

If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement about the division of property, the court will intervene. Illinois courts make property division decisions based on a series of factors that are listed in Illinois law. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marital estate

  • Non-financial contributions made by a spouse

  • Each spouse’s financial circumstances including his or her employment, income, debts, and more

  • Each spouse’s education, training, employability, and future earning capacity

  • The duration of the marriage

  • Child custody arrangements

  • Any prior agreements such as prenuptial agreements

  • Whether the court will award spousal maintenance to a spouse

  • The tax implications of property division

Illinois adheres to a legal doctrine called equitable distribution when dividing property during a divorce. Only marital property that is acquired during the marriage is divided. Separate or nonmarital property is assigned to the original owner. The amount of property that each spouse receives is equitable, or fair, but it is not always exactly equal.

Contact a Will County Property Division Lawyer

Regardless of where you are in the divorce process, a Joliet, IL divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help. Our team has helped countless divorcing spouses understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to property distribution. We can help you negotiate a property division arrangement, investigate concerns about hidden assets, and, if needed, represent you in court. Call us at our Joliet office at 815-666-1285 or the Plainfield office at 815-733-5350. Schedule a free consultation today.



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