It’s unfortunate, but sometimes it’s best if two married people each go their separate ways. Yet often that’s easier said than done—somehow the couple’s property needs to be divided between them so they can each move on. Illinois law provides rules directing how that property division happens.
Not all property is subject to division in a divorce. Illinois allows each partner to claim certain assets as “non-marital property” before the court considers how to divide the remaining non-marital property. Non-marital property includes items such as:
Everything else the couple owns, including debts, gets considered by the court for division between the partners.
In Illinois, the law requires judges to consider “all relevant factors” when deciding how to divide the couple’s property in a fair and just way. Interestingly, “marital misconduct” is specifically excluded from those relevant factors. Instead, Illinois law requires judges to consider the following 12 factors when deciding how property will be divided:
After considering those factors and anything else the court finds relevant, the judge has broad authority to divide the couple’s property in any way it finds just. That includes making creative arrangements, such as setting aside property for the couple’s children in a trust fund or other protective arrangement, or ordering a particular piece of property to be sold and the proceeds divided between the partners if it would be unfair to allow either partner to keep it.
Clearly judgments about how property will be divided during a divorce are complicated. That’s why it’s important to have the assistance of a qualified attorney when preparing to prove to the judge that your proposed division of the property is “just.”
Our firm specializes on Illinois divorce law and we are available to help you through your own divorce, so if you have questions about a divorce please contact an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer at the Goodman Law Firm to help you understand your options.
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