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Factors that Determine the Division of Assets in an Illinois Divorce

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Illinois divorce attorneysDividing marital property in a divorce can be a complex and contentious matter, especially in Illinois. You see, unlike in other states where property and assets are divided equally, Illinois distributes assets in an equitable (“fair”) manner. Unfortunately, everyone’s version of fair is not the same. As such, the courts have some factors that guide the asset division process. Learn more about them, and what an experienced divorce attorney can do for you, with help from the following information.

What is Included in the Marital Estate?

Before the courts can divide a couple’s assets, the overall value of the marital estate must be determined. Items that are included in this process will typically include any assets acquired during the marriage, but individual assets that were acquired before the marriage may also be included if they were co-mingled with marital funds. Examples of such items may include:

  • Businesses and company shares;
  • Vehicles;
  • Primary residence;
  • Vacation homes;
  • Rental properties;
  • Furniture;
  • Jewelry;
  • Artwork;
  • Retirement accounts and pension plans;
  • Checking accounts;
  • Savings accounts;
  • College savings accounts; and
  • Stocks or bonds.

Factors Courts Use to Determine the Division of Assets

Once the value of the marital estate has been determined, the couple can then enter a negotiation to reach an agreed upon settlement amount. If unable or unwilling to do so through this process, the couple can then litigate their divorce. When this happens, the courts examine several different factors to determine how the estate will be divided. These factors include:

  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Each party’s contributions to the marriage (income earnings, homemaker contributions, attorney’s fees, etc.);
  • Any dissipation of assets (spending, selling off valuable assets, etc.);
  • Value of assigned property (which may also include non-marital assets);
  • Each party’s economic circumstances (children and assignment of parenting time, physical or mental health issues that may affect a party’s ability to obtain employment, education, and job training or experience of each party, etc.);
  • Financial obligations from previous marriages or children;
  • Any agreements previously made between the parties (i.e. prenuptial agreement);
  • An award of spousal maintenance; and
  • Any other factors the court deems relevant.

Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers

Because there are so many factors involved in the division of assets, and because each party’s financial future rides on the court’s decision, it is highly encouraged that divorcing couples each seek legal assistance with the divorce process. Skilled in both litigation and mediation, Mevorah Law Offices LLC is the firm to remember. Schedule a free and personalized consultation with our DuPage County divorce lawyers to learn how we can assist with your case. Call our offices at 630-932-9100.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5200000

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