Marriage is like a knot, and that knot can be very tricky to untie if you are getting a divorce. One of the most difficult parts of divorce can be the division of property. Many states use “community property” laws, which say that any assets obtained during a marriage are subject to equal division in the case of a divorce. However, Illinois is not a community property state, and instead, it uses a principle known as “equitable distribution.” This states that assets will be fairly and equitably divided between spouses in just proportions rather than being split 50/50.
Types of Property
There are two types of property that a married couple may own: marital property and separate property. Marital property is defined as all assets and debts obtained by either spouse during a marriage. This includes not just tangible property but also intangible assets. Examples may include vehicles, furniture, clothing, jewelry, bank accounts, trusts, real estate property, and business interests--as long as they were obtained during the marriage. Liabilities such as credit card debts or home and auto loans are also considered marital property.
Separate property includes any assets that were obtained by one spouse before or after the marriage, as well as any inheritances given solely to one spouse. Marital property will be divided between spouses, but separate property will continue to be owned by the spouse that acquired it.
Division of Property
In many cases, divorcing spouses are able to work together to determine how to divide their marital property. If an agreement cannot be reached, the decisions about how to divide the property may be left up to a judge. Some of the factors the judge may consider are:
What each spouse contributed to the purchase of the assets
The length of the marriage
Any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage for either spouse
The income of each party
The tax consequences of the property allocation
Contact a Lombard Property Division Attorney
When determining how to handle ownership of property during your divorce, our attorneys can help you understand the value of your assets and how to divide them in a way that protects your interests. At The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we will provide you with the legal help you need to reach a successful outcome to your divorce case. Contact a Wheaton divorce lawyer at 630-462-9500 to schedule a consultation today.