Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C.

How is marital property divided in a divorce in Illinois?

There are many issues that must be resolved in any divorce in Illinois. The big issues are child custody, child support, alimony and property division, which includes dividing up all of the couple's assets. When a couple is dividing assets there are two major steps. The first step in this process is determining what is marital property. After that determination has been made, the next step is dividing the assets between the two spouses.

In Illinois the property is divided equitably and not necessarily equally. There are a number of factors that the court analyzes when dividing the marital property. These include, but are not limited to, the contribution of each spouse to the value of the marital and non-marital assets, including a spouse's contribution as a homemaker for the family; if one spouse intentionally dissipated marital assets prior to the divorce; the value of the property given to each spouse; the economic resources of each spouse and their earning potential; and the tax liability of the property division.

As one can see, after analyzing those factors one spouse may end up with more of the marital assets. The goal is that each spouse will be left in a similar economic situation and that the children will be provided for by both parents. So, if one spouse stayed at home to care for the children, forgoing career opportunities, that spouse may end up with more of the assets to equalize the economic situations of both spouses.

Anytime a decision is based on analyzing factors, it can be a complicated matter. Determining an equitable division of property is not straightforward. This is only general information and is not intended to be legal advice. Experienced family law attorneys deal with property division and may be able to guide one through the process.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "750 ILCS 5/503" accessed on Feb. 16, 2015

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