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Does equitable division in divorce mean 50/50?

World's Worst Tenants, a television show on Spike TV, has an episode where a divorcing wife took the idea splitting everything 50/50 very literal. The woman cut everything in the apartment in half including the bed, television, and even the stove. Illinois is an equitable distribution state when it comes to the division of marital assets and liabilities. Equitable is a relative term and does not always mean equal or 50/50.

When it comes to equitable division of marital assets and liabilities, Courts have a lot of discretion in determining was is fair. Equitable division for one couple might look completely different for another couple because what is fair varies from case to case. Section 503 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act requires the consideration of the following factors when determining what is an equitable division:

1. The contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservation, or increase or decrease in value of the marital or non-marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or to the family unit;

2. The dissipation by each party of the marital or non-marital property;

3. The value of the property assigned to each spouse;

4. The duration of the marriage;

5. The relevant economic circumstances of each spouse when the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home, or the right to live therein for reasonable periods, to the spouse having custody of the children;

6. Any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either party;

7. Any antenuptial agreement of the parties;

8. The age, health, stations, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties;

9. The custodial provisions for any children;

10. Whether the apportionment is in lieu of or in addition to maintenance;

11. The reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income; and

12. The tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties.

For more information on equitable division of marital assets and liabilities, please feel free to contact The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.

Link to the episode of World's Worst Tenants (Watch minute 8 to minute 12):

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