How Can Illinois Equitable Distribution Laws Influence My Divorce?

 Posted on January 17, 2022 in Divorce

St. Charles Property Division LawyerSeparating finances is often one of the most complicated parts of the divorce process. Because the division of assets and debts can have such a significant impact on spouses’ post-divorce future, it is also often one of the most contentious aspects of the divorce process. If you are getting divorced in Kane County, it is important to understand how marital property is divided according to Illinois law.

Dividing Property and Debts During Divorce

Countless factors influence the complexity of the property division process, including the spouses’ ability to agree. If you and your spouse are on relatively good terms, you may be able to reach a property division settlement outside of court. Your respective lawyers can help you negotiate the terms of your property division arrangement if you and your spouse struggle to reach an agreement on your own. If you are unable to reach an agreement or settlement, the court will determine how to divide property for you. Illinois courts divide marital property according to a principle called “equitable distribution.”

What is Equitable Distribution?  

There are two main legal theories when it comes to dividing assets and debts in a divorce: Community property and equitable distribution. Illinois is an equitable distribution state. Courts divide assets and debts in a manner that is fair, or equitable given the spouses’ particular circumstances. Contrary to popular opinion, assets and debts are not split exactly in half.

The factors used to determine how property and debts are divided in an Illinois divorce include:

  • Any pre-existing contracts including prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements

  • The duration of the marriage

  • Each spouse's employment status and earning capacity

  • Each spouse's health, age, and financial circumstances

  • Arrangements for spousal maintenance

  • Each spouse's financial needs

  • Whether a spouse has a child support or spousal maintenance obligation

  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marital estate

  • Non-financial contributions to the marriage, including the contributions made as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent

  • Any “dissipation of assets” or waste of marital property including money lost to an addiction or extramarital affair

  • The allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time

  • Whether the spouse with the majority of parenting time intends to stay in the marital home

  • The tax implications of the proposed asset division arrangement

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting divorced, contact the experienced St. Charles divorce attorneys at Goostree Law Group for help. Our skilled team can help you and your spouse address the valuation and division of marital assets including the marital home, bank accounts, retirement assets, and more.

Call 630-584-4800 for a free consultation.




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