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What Factors Are Considered When Dividing Property During Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Arlington Heights marital property division lawyer

When a married couple gets divorced, they must split up the life they created together. When it comes to dividing property, there are many factors that determine who gets what during a divorce. However, each spouse is entitled to receive a fair portion of the marital assets. During divorce, it is best to seek legal counsel in order to understand your rights and the best approach to take as you determine how to divide your marital property. 

Equitable Distribution 

In the state of Illinois, marital property is divided using a system of equitable distribution. While this term may lead one to believe that property is divided equally, this is not necessarily true in every case, and property will be divided based on what is fair for both spouses. There is rarely a 50/50 split of property during a divorce. What is determined to be fair by the courts is based on a variety of factors, including: 

  • Contribution to the Marriage: If one spouse earns a high salary, then they may expect to leave the marriage with the most amount of money. Likewise, a person may expect their spouse to be responsible for debts that that spouse incurred during the marriage. However, assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered marital property that should be divided fairly and equitably, regardless of which spouse earned the income or ran up debt. Contributions to the marriage can take multiple forms, including earning income, performing household duties, or caring for children. All of these issues should be considered when determining how property should be divided.
  • Economic Circumstances and Opportunities: Equitable distribution deals with marital property, and the non-marital property owned by either spouse is not a factor in decisions about how to divide property. However, each spouse's economic circumstances is a factor that does play into these decisions, and a court will also consider the opportunities that are available for each spouse as they seek to acquire property in the future. If one spouse owns significant non-marital assets or earns a high income, they may be more likely to be able to acquire property in the future, and the other spouse may be awarded a larger portion of the marital property in order to ensure that they will have the financial resources they need. 
  • Length of Marriage: The amount of time a couple was married may play a role in decisions about property division. For example, a couple who has been married 20 years will not only have acquired more assets together, but they will have enjoyed a certain standard of living. Property should be divided in a way that allows each spouse to maintain that standard. 

Contact a Barrington Property Division Attorney

The process of dividing marital property can be daunting. In longer marriages, or in cases in which one spouse earns a higher income, it is important to ensure that your rights are protected as you determine how to equitably divide assets and debts. You need a knowledgeable attorney who can advocate for you and help you reach a fair property settlement. Contact an experienced Palatine divorce lawyer at Anderson & Associates, P.C. to learn how we can help you reach a positive outcome to your case. Call 847-995-9999 to set up a free consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

Chicago Bar Association DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association
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