Equitable Division of Property

In Illinois, a divorce decree will detail how the property will be divided between the couple. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act contains specific guidance in this regard.

RigsIn amicable divorces, the parties may be able to reach an out-of-court settlement. This is a practical approach to the division of marital property and avoids expensive litigation. If the parties are able to reach an agreement, the attorneys will draft a marital settlement agreement detailing the property distribution. The marital settlement agreement will cover both personal and real property. Once both parties sign off on the agreement, the attorneys will then present it to the judge. The judge will approve the agreement if it finds it not to be unconscionable.

If the parties cannot agree to an amicable distribution, the attorneys will have to appear in front of the judge and argue regarding the best way for dividing the property. Once the attorneys present the evidence, the judge has to determine which assets constitute marital property. Illinois defines marital property as all property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage. Excluded from this definition are the following:

  1. property acquired by gift, legacy or descent,
  2. property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, legacy or descent;
  3. property acquired by a spouse after a judgment of legal separation;
  4. property excluded by valid agreement of the parties;
  5. any judgment or property obtained by judgment awarded to a spouse from the other spouse; and
  6. property acquired before the marriage.

Once the judge determines which assets are martial, it will divide them equitably by considering a series of factors, including the contribution of each party, the dissipation by each party, the duration of marriage, etc.

Division of property in a divorce is a serious issue that requires the help of an experienced Illinois divorce attorney. Do not fight alone, contact us today for help in asset division..


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