Call Us630-871-2400

Wheaton Property Division Lawyer

Division of Marital Property

Divorce is often a complex process that involves many different legal and financial decisions. Some of the most important of these decisions will be related to property division. In Illinois, the division of marital property follows the doctrine of equitable distribution. Courts will distribute assets and debts between spouses in a way that is considered to be fair and reasonable. If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about how the division of property will be handled, an experienced family law attorney can help ensure you understand your legal rights and options.

At Fawell & Fawell, our experienced divorce attorney has dealt with countless divorces in which the division of property was a major issue. We will work with you each step of the way to ensure that any matters related to property division will be handled in a way that will protect your best interests.

Marital Vs. Non-Marital Property

In Illinois, marital property is divided during a divorce. Marital assets include most property acquired during the marriage, but inheritances or gifts received by one spouse will typically be excluded. On the other hand, non-marital property is not subject to division in a divorce. Non-marital assets may include any property owned by either spouse before the marriage, property received as individual inheritances, and gifts given by someone outside of the marriage.

Distribution of Marital Property

The courts in Illinois apply the principle of "equitable distribution" when making decisions about property division. The term "equitable" does not always mean "equal." There are many factors that the court will examine when determining how to divide property as fairly as possible while protecting the financial interests of both spouses. These factors may include the income of both spouses, the duration of the marriage, the parties' contributions toward accumulating assets, and more.

Factors Considered in the Division of Marital Property

Marital estates may include a wide variety of different types of assets, such as investments, homes, vehicles, personal items, valuables, financial accounts, retirement benefits, businesses, and debts. Some of the critical factors that may be considered when determining how these assets are to be distributed equitably include:

  • Length of the marriage - The duration of the marriage from the date the couple became legally married to the date of a legal separation may play a role in property division determinations.
  • Contribution of each spouse - The court may look at each spouse's contribution to accumulating assets, such as the income they earned or services they performed that caused property to increase in value. The court will also determine whether either spouse has dissipated assets by wasting money, destroying property, or spending marital funds for non-marital purposes.
  • Each spouse's earning power - The court may consider the earning capacity of both parties after the divorce is finalized and the financial resources that will be available to them. When addressing these issues, the court may look at factors such as each spouse's age, education, professional training and skills, health, and employment history.
  • Child custody arrangements - Illinois courts will consider the needs of a couple's children and the best ways to protect their interests when deciding on property distribution. For example, the custodial parent may be able to retain full ownership of the family's home so that children can continue living in the same neighborhood and attending the same schools.

What to Keep in Mind When Dividing Marital Property

Divorce proceedings are often complicated. Achieving an equitable division of marital property is an important goal in most divorces, especially when significant assets and debts are involved. Educating yourself about the laws of equitable distribution in Illinois can be essential. As you prepare to begin the divorce process, it is a good idea to take an inventory of all property you and your spouse own, dividing assets into marital and non-marital categories. This can give you a better idea of the types of property that will need to be addressed, and you can also set goals and expectations for how issues related to your assets and debts will be handled as you negotiate a divorce settlement with your spouse.

Contact a DuPage County Property Division Lawyer

If you are planning to get a divorce in Illinois, it is important to understand how issues related to the division of property may be addressed. A knowledgeable attorney can provide you with guidance throughout the entire divorce process while helping you negotiate agreements that will protect your financial interests. At Fawell & Fawell, we know what is at stake when it comes to property division. Let us work with you to ensure that your marital property will be distributed in a way that will allow you to maintain success after your marriage has been dissolved. Contact our firm at 630-871-2400 to arrange a free consultation.

badge badge badge badge
Back to Top