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Championing Your Rights

Fairly Dividing Marital Property During Divorce

Under Illinois law, marital property will be divided equitably in divorce. However, equitable does not necessarily mean equal. Property can be divided 50-50, 60-40 or by other ratios, depending on the facts of your case.

As a divorce lawyer with more than 30 years of family law experience in Wheaton and the western Chicago suburbs, Terry Fawell can let you know what to expect from the court if your assets are divided by a judge. Knowing what a court is likely to do will help you negotiate a reasonable outcome. Fighting over how assets will be divided usually means that there will be fewer assets to divide.

How Assets Are Divided

  • In long-term marriages, the court will try to equalize income, assets and debts.
  • Retirement plans such as pensions and 401(k) accounts are marital assets and must be divided, generally equally.
  • You and your spouse can swap assets. For example, if you want the marital residence, you can negotiate a cash payment in exchange for your spouse’s share of the equity.
  • Assets owned prior to marriage, as well as inheritances and gifts received during the marriage, are yours to keep − unless you put your spouse’s name on those assets or commingle them with other marital assets.
  • All assets must be disclosed. We can subpoena records from financial institutions, employers and family-owned businesses to find hidden assets.
  • Illinois law prohibits marital misconduct, such as infidelity, from consideration in the division of property. However, if one party wastes assets during the period of time that the marriage is breaking down, that can affect property division.

Can I Kick My Spouse Out Of The House?

This is one of the first questions our clients usually ask us. The answer is no, unless there are issues of domestic abuse or violence.

Call Our Office Today For A Consultation

For a free initial consultation about your equitable property distribution case, contact Fawell & Fawell at 630-480-6253. From our office in Wheaton, we serve clients in DuPage, Kane and Will counties.