In a divorce, issues regarding the division of assets and distribution of marital property can result in a lengthy legal process. If you are considering or are currently pursuing a divorce, consult with an attorney experienced in the laws and regulations governing the division of assets in Will County. With help from our firm’s skilled and dedicated legal team, together we could work towards a resolution to your needs when it comes to dividing marital assets.

Marital Property and Your Rights

In Illinois, 750 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/503 defines “marital property” as any and all property, including debts and other obligations, obtained by either spouse during the marriage and before the final divorce judgment. Different kinds of marital property can include but may not be limited to the marital home, vehicles, bank accounts, furniture, co-owned non-marital property, retirement funds, stock options, and life insurance policies.

Because Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, the court will divide marital property in a way that is just and equitable, without regarding any potential marital misconduct. Dividing assets equitably does not mean splitting them 50/50 or into perfectly equal shares, but rather doing so based on what the court deems is fair.

What Assets Are Considered Non-Marital?

Pursuant to 750 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/503(a), state law defines non-marital assets and property as the following:

  • Property obtained by either a gift or inheritance
  • Property obtained in exchange for pre-marital property
  • Property obtained after legal separation
  • Property not included in a valid agreement, such as a premarital or postmarital agreement
  • Any property obtained by a court order from one spouse to the other
  • Property obtained prior to the start of the marriage
  • Value increase of non-marital property
  • Income from any property obtained

However, if any non-marital property is “co-mingled” with other marital property, it becomes marital property and is subject to equitable division, according to 750 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/503(c)(1)(B).

Illinois Guidelines for Asset Division

The courts consider various factors when dividing marital assets and property in an equitable manner. Common factors included in these deliberations center around the property’s monetary worth. These include each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition, preservation, or change in value of the property; each spouse’s dissipation of the property; and the value of the property.

Certain details of the divorce itself may play a role as well, such as each spouse’s age, health, occupation, income, job skills, employability, estates, liabilities, and needs. Additional relevant factors may include the length of the marriage, each spouse’s relevant economic circumstances, any obligations or rights from a former marriage, and any existing premarital or post-marital agreements.

Depending on custodial requirements for any children, it may be more equitable for one spouse to receive certain marital assets such as a house purchased jointly by both spouses.

Finally, economic considerations often factor into the final asset division decision. If the apportionment is in lieu of or in addition to spousal support, it may affect what assets each spouse receives—as may each spouse’s reasonable chance for future acquisition of capital assets or income and the tax consequences of the property division.

Call Our Experienced Attorneys to Learn More

If you are in Will County, call our knowledgeable attorneys experienced in all issues concerning the division of marital assets. Our firm could provide you with legal advice and answers to your questions, such as the definition of marital property, your rights to the marital property, and the factors that determine property division under state law.

If you are involved in a divorce dispute, contact our firm now to learn more about your rights and what you can expect during your case.