In the event that you and your spouse get a divorce, you might be under the impression that your assets will be split 50/50. In Illinois, that is not always the case.
Some states have things called community property laws. A community property law is one in which your marital property is divided equally after a divorce.
Illinois isn’t one of the states that has this law.
At Diamond Divorce Law, our divorce attorneys are experienced in helping Illinois clients through their divorce, including dividing their marital assets. Read on to learn how marital assets are divided in Illinois divorces.
No-Fault Divorce in Illinois
In Illinois, your assets are divided without regard to misconduct.
Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. No-fault means that neither spouse has to be at fault for the breakup.
The grounds for no-fault are relatively simple and usually require:
- Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage;
- Their efforts at reconciliation have failed,
- The parties have lived separate and apart for continuous period of not less than six months; and
- Future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.
These requirements are not always strictly followed. The court or the parties frequently waive some of these requirements. Sometimes, when people are not actually living separately, they allege that they have constructively lived separate and apart in the same residence.
Basically, they are saying that they are just roommates and not a married couple.
What about Equitable Splits?
Illinois is an equitable split state. An equitable split means that your property in a divorce should be divided equitably, but that doesn’t necessarily mean equally.
For example, equitable splits could mean 60/40 or 70/30. This depends on the individual facts and circumstances of each case.
An Illinois judge will consider all relevant factors in deciding what kind of property division is fair. Some of these factors are:
- The effects of any prenuptial agreements;
- The length of the marriage;
- Each spouse’s age, health, and station in life;
- Whether a spouse is receiving alimony (AKA spousal support or maintenance);
- Each spouse’s occupation, vocational skills, and employability;
- Each spouse’s debts and financial needs;
- Each spouse’s opportunity for future acquisition of assets and income;
- Either spouse’s obligations from a prior marriage (such as child support for other children);
- Contributions to the acquisition, preservation, or increased value of the marital property, including contributions as a homemaker
- Contributions to any decrease in value or waste of marital or separate property;
- The economic circumstances of each spouse.
Non-Marital Property vs. Marital Property in Illinois
In an Illinois divorce, you get to keep your Non-Marital Property and the court divides your Marital Property.
- Non-Marital Property is property acquired before the marriage and not put into co-ownership or property acquired by gift or inheritance and not put into co-ownership.
- Marital Property is any property that either spouse acquired after the marriage regardless of whose name it is in.
For example, inheriting $1,000,000 after you are married and keeping it in your own name is your Non-Marital Property. Winning a $1,000,000 lottery during your marriage is marital property.
Spouses can convert Non-Marital Property into Marital Property (or vice versa) using a written agreement. In addition, spouses can specify whether a particular property is Non-Marital or Marital in a written agreement either before or during the marriage, using a prenup or postnup agreement.
In divorces, parties frequently enter into mutually acceptable marital settlement agreements dividing various assets and liabilities. This can become part of the final divorce order.
Debt During an Illinois Divorce
In divorces, not only marital assets are divided but also marital debt is divided. Marital debt is debts incurred by the parties after they are married regardless of whose name it is in.
Some of the factors considered by the court in dividing marital debt are:
- Who acquired the debt;
- How much was acquired;
- What the debt is for;
- When it was acquired.
The fact that the court orders a person to pay a debt may not actually remove the other party’s liability to the creditor. These are the types of matters your dedicated Illinois divorce lawyer can help you with.
Contact Diamond Divorce Law
Diamond Divorce Law, located in McHenry, Illinois, can help you navigate all there is that comes with a divorce. Divorce proceedings are complicated, but they don’t have to be messy. Contact our office today for a free consultation.