Illinois courts do not necessarily divide up marital property equally (50/50) upon the dissolution of a marriage. Instead, the court will consider a number of factors and split up the marital assets according to what is “equitable.” If you are involved in a divorce proceeding or anticipate that you will soon be, it is critically important that you secure the assistance of an experienced Chicago divorce attorney in order to ensure that your rights are fairly represented throughout the divorce process.How Do Illinois Courts Divide Up Marital Assets?
As mentioned above, Illinois courts use principles of equitable division when determining who gets what in a Chicago divorce proceeding. A few of the factors that the court will consider when making the equitable-division decision are:
- The length of the marriage;
- The value of each spouse’s individual property;
- The child custody arrangements;
- Any prenuptial agreement entered into before the marriage;
- The earning potential of each spouse;
- Any sacrifice that either spouse has made in favor of the other spouse’s career;
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marital assets;
- The needs of each spouse;
- The age and the physical, mental, and emotional health of each spouse; and
- Either spouses “waste” of marital assets.
Any marital property is subject to equitable distribution. Marital property, simply defined, is all property that “belongs” to the marriage. This includes almost all assets acquired while the marriage was in effect. Some assets remain with the spouse that brought them into the marriage. These are called non-marital assets. A few examples of non-marital assets are:
- Assets owned by one spouse prior to entering into the marriage
- Any asset that was acquired by one spouse by exchanging or selling a non-marital asset.
- Any gift given to, or left to one of the spouses.
- Income derived from non-marital assets.
- Property acquired by one spouse after separation.
- Any judgment awarded to one spouse from the other spouse.
If one spouse comingles non-marital assets with marital assets, the non-marital assets may transmute into marital assets. If this is occurs, the spouse whose property is transmuted may be able to get reimbursed for their additional contribution to the marital assets. This can cause some confusion and frustration in Chicago divorces.Contacting an Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney
If you are involved in a Chicago divorce, you should immediately contact an experienced and dedicated Chicago family law attorney. As you can see, an Illinois divorce proceeding can be much more complicated than dividing the marital assets in half. To make sure that someone is fighting for your fair treatment throughout the divorce proceeding, you should have an experienced attorney at your side. The law firm of The Taradash Group, P.C. is an aggressive and experienced Chicago family law firm that knows what it takes to provide excellent representation to their clients. Contact us using our online form, or call (312) 775-1020 to speak to an attorney today.