Understanding Fair and Equitable Asset Division in Illinois Divorce
Illinois is an equitable distribution state when it comes to dissolution of marriage. During a divorce, it can be a daunting task to evaluate and divide marital property, especially when significant assets are involved. Deciding who should get what often leads to contentious court proceedings, where one spouse tries to provide maximum amount of assets as non-marital party and the other partner wants to get as much share as possible. Even when divorce is being settled through negotiation, property and asset division pose a challenge for both spouses.
What is Meant by Equitable Distribution?
It is a method of distributing assets, property, and debt obligations between spouses during a divorce by courts. Equitable distribution does not mean equal division – instead, it means that assets are divided fairly. In community property states, a strict 50-50 split is done, where one spouse receives exactly the half share of the property they have acquired during their marriage. On the other hand, the equitable distribution doctrine considers several factors in determining how much share of the marital property should be allocated to each spouse.
Equitable distribution of assets and property is a flexible way where each spouse gets a “fair” share of the marital property. However, it sometimes becomes difficult for courts to predict the effectiveness of their decision because some of the factors considered are of subjective nature.
Factors used for Equitable Distribution of Assets
There is no specific formula for calculating equitable division of assets in Illinois, since the method is based on the premise of fairness. Courts determine the individual circumstances of each case, and take into account some or all of the following factors pertaining to both spouses:
|· Age||· Loss of inheritance rights and benefits|
|· Alternative sources of income||· Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements|
|· Appreciation of separate and joint assets||· Nonmonetary contributions to the marriage|
|· Asset liquidity||· Previous marriages|
|· Children’s special needs||· Tax consequences of the division of assets|
|· Disability||· Education|
|· Health||· Income|
|· Length of marriage|
All property that has been acquired by either one or both spouses during the course of marriage is subject to division. These assets may include the marital home, dividends, income, rents, real estate, bank accounts, restricted stock, stock options, pension and retirement plans, professional practices, closely-held businesses, savings, vehicles, and other property.
If you think the asset division is not fair for your situation, you can work with an experienced property division attorney to advocate for you and secure favorable outcomes for you. If you and your spouse are opting for mediation or any other form of ADR for settling your divorce, it is still important to have an attorney by your side who can help you understand your rights and protect your interests during negotiations.
If you are going through a divorce and want an experienced property division attorney to handle your case, you may contact the Law Office of Fedor Kozlov, P.C. today at (847) 241-1299 to schedule a free initial consultation.