In An Illinois Divorce? Your Mini-Guide to Attain Equitable Property Division
As the term sounds, ‘property division’ is the separating or dividing of property among two or more parties. In family laws, this typically occurs when spouses divorce or couples legally separate or an unmarried couple ends the relationship. Irrespective of the occasion, the topic deserves significant attention and thought to ensure you do not simply relinquish anything you should not and give up those things that you must for the most favorable outcome. Consequently, you should retain a reputable, well-versed asset division lawyer for legal representation in your favor.
Property can include real property, such as your home, land, along with your personal property, like clothing and furniture. When you purchased your home furniture with your spouse, you were most probably not concerned about who would receive it in case of divorce. Illinois laws do not require your marital property’s to be equally split thus you could end up arguing over furniture in the presence of a judge. Rather, marital property and assets in Illinois are distributed under the legal system of equitable distribution laws, i.e. in a fair manner instead of a literally equal split.
Typically, marital property is defined as anything acquired during the marriage by either spouse. However, it does not imply that every single income earned or gift received from the non-marital asset is accounted as marital property. Such non-marital property, referred as separate property, is not subject to any equitable division and often includes:
Property brought or obtained before marriage – one must leverage a debt division lawyer to resolve debt conflict
Property obtained by gift, legacy or descent
Property acquired after separation
Property explicitly excluded through a legal agreement by both the parties
Factors Influencing Distribution of Marital Property
Upon assigning of non-marital property to each spouse, the distribution process of marital assets beings. Several factors are taken into consideration to figure out the property’s equitable division, including:
The duration of marriage
The age, income, health, and liabilities of each party
The individual role of each spouse in obtaining, changing or preserving the property’s value
The prenuptial agreement, only when applicable
Tax consequences of the property division
While every spouse rightfully obtains their separate property, such property’s ownership may affect the distribution of marital assets. For instance, one spouse may receive the marital assets’ larger portion when the other spouse holds substantial separate assets.
Each Case Is Unique
Since each case has varying financial circumstances, marriage duration, contributions, and health issues, careful discretion is imperative for identification, categorization, and distribution of the assets. Equitable property division can certainly be contentious and confusing during divorce. Thus, consulting a family lawyer for legal advice can help each spouse know the process. An asset division lawyer can not only help you understand your individual rights but also reach an effective final settlement.
For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact The Law Office of Fedor Kozlov, P.C. today at 847-241-1299 to speak with an experienced attorney on this topic.