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Your Guide to Equitable Distribution in an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on January 19,2024 in Family Law

DuPage County divorce attorneyProperty division is one of the murkier issues during the Illinois divorce process. Having to split the assets you feel you have earned with your future ex-spouse may feel like a punch to the gut. You and your spouse can choose to work things out on your own before the courts get involved. However, if you cannot reach an amicable settlement, it will be up to the courts to decide the fate of your marital estate. In Illinois, marital property is divided and distributed “fairly and equitably” between the divorcing couple. When you need assistance in your divorce, the first call should be to an experienced attorney who can help you weather the storm that a divorce process inevitably brings.

“Fair and Equitable”

Illinois is an equitable distribution state where marital assets are divided in a way that seems “fair and equitable” to a judge for both parties. This means any hope of a 50/50 split might as well be tossed out the window – usually. Instead, the court will look at the current and future needs of the couple and address the divide accordingly.

What Happens To Separate Property?

Only marital assets are subject to division and allocated by the court. Separate assets remain an owner’s personal property after a divorce is final. The only caveat to this is if a separate property was commingled with marital property while a couple is married. An example of commingling assets would be placing inherited wealth into a joint account. According to Illinois law, the funds entered into a joint account, if used for joint needs like a mortgage, can now be considered marital property.

Factors That Go Into a Court’s Division When Dividing Marital Assets

Equitable does not mean equal. It is essential that you understand the distinction between the two terms. When dividing marital assets in a “fair and equitable” distribution, a judge will look at multiple factors before making a decision.

Factors that a judge may consider when making their decision can include:

  • The contributions of both spouses to the marital estate
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The lifestyle and standard of living established during the marriage
  • The current and future income and resources of both spouses
  • Decision-making responsibilities and parenting time pending or already established by the court
  • Spousal maintenance obligations
  • Premarital and post-marital agreements already in place
  • Property division tax implications

Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorney

Dividing hard-earned assets is a sad reality of every marriage. A skillful Glen Ellyn, IL property division lawyer, can provide insight into how best to compromise with your spouse before trial to make things easier for all parties involved. When a settlement cannot be reached, the NN Legal Group can offer legal representation in and out of court. For a free consultation, we highly suggest you dial 630-474-0925 to set up an appointment where we can discuss your impending divorce and how we can help.

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