The property division process can cause anxiety for some divorcing spouses, which is why they should understand the process and what to expect from it. Making sure they have all their questions answered can help divorcing spouses better prioritize their interests and reach a fair settlement.
Property in Illinois is divided equitably, which means that the family law court will work to reach a settlement agreement that is fair to both spouses but does not necessarily mean the property will be divided evenly. Property and assets acquired during the marriage are generally considered marital property, which is subject to division during divorce.
When reaching an equitable division of property, the family law court may consider a variety of factors. Factors that may be evaluated include: the contributions of the spouses to marital property, including the increase or decrease of the same; the value of property assigned to each of the spouses; the anticipated economic circumstances of the spouses following the divorce; the duration of the marriage; the age, health, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability; liabilities, needs and estate of the spouses; the custody of any children from the marriage; obligations or rights from a prior marriage of either of the spouses; the tax consequences of the property division; any spousal maintenance; and the future economic prospects of the spouses.
These same factors can help guide the divorcing spouses to reach a property division settlement and they are encouraged to work together whenever possible. Knowing how the property division process is handled can help divorcing couples through the challenges of dividing their property.