Whenever two people dissolve a marriage in Illinois, the couple must enter into a divorce agreement or a judgment will be made by the judge. Among many important aspects of the future that this agreement will control is the division of the couple’s assets. This means that all the assets and liabilities must be allocated between the couple.
It is important to get an accurate accounting of your assets and liabilities, obtain information concerning your spouse’s assets and liabilities, and to fight for an equitable distribution of those assets in a marital settlement agreement, and a capable family attorney could help you do that. A Bolingbrook division of assets lawyer could advocate for you.
We consistently remind potential clients that equitable is not the same as equal. Illinois law requires that every divorce decree issued by a court is equitable; however, this does not mean that the division of assets needs to be exactly equal. This may mean that the assets and liabilities are divided 50/50, but some circumstances support a different division such as 60/40 or 70/30. The court will consider a number of factors when dividing marital assets, including:
However, all of this can be rendered moot if a couple has entered into a prenuptial marriage agreement, which is a contractual agreement signed by the couple before the marriage. This contract likely governs how marital assets are to be distributed in the event of a divorce. Courts will generally treat these agreements as valid so long as both parties signed the agreement knowingly and willingly and the terms named within are fair.
It is a misconception that every object or debt that a couple possesses will be divided between both spouses in a Marital Settlement Agreement. Illinois law recognizes that some assets and debts are entirely owned by one of the spouses. In general, any property or debts you owned prior to becoming married will remain with you during and after the divorce process. For example, if you owned your own car before marrying your spouse, the court will typically assume that this car will remain your sole property, even if your spouse drives the car during your marriage. The same concept applies to debts: if you enter marriage with thousands of dollars of credit card debt, a divorce decree is likely to order that this debt remain with you.
However, none of these rules are set in stone. Divorces can often become contentious over issues such as house ownership or rights to bank accounts. A qualified division of assets lawyer from Bolingbrook could work towards an equitable outcome to your divorce.
The end of a marriage often forces people to take measure of their assets and make plans for the long-term future. An important component of this is determining which spouse will retain ownership over marital property, including financial assets and debts. The division of assets lawyers at our firm work with clients to stand up for their rights when assets need to be divided. Whether you and your spouse are working on an agreement to divide your assets or the issue needs to be decided in court, we stand ready to fight for you. Contact Reidy Law today to see how we can help.