Finding a fair way to divide your property during a divorce is not always easy. There is a chance that you and your spouse simply will not agree, especially if your estate contains substantial assets.
Real estate holdings, in particular, can become a source of intense contention during a divorce. After all, your marital home and/or your vacation home may be some of the most valuable assets you have.
If you understand a little about how the Illinois courts approach these significantly valuable assets, you may feel more comfortable moving forward with divorce proceedings.
What rules apply to the division of property in Illinois?
In order to understand how courts will divide your possessions, you have to understand the standard that the courts use. Illinois uses the equitable division standard when determining how to divide a couple’s assets. If you reach your own terms by agreement or if you already executed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, then it’s possible those terms will deviate from what the court might decide on its own.
If the judge overseeing your divorce has the final say, then he or she will generally make an effort to understand your family circumstances and then create a solution deemed reasonable or fair. Factors including, but not limited to, the length of your marriage, the custody of your children, your health, and your earning potential will influence how the court splits your assets.
Real estate is not a winner-take-all asset
People sometimes dig in their heels and fight vigorously to retain possession of the marital home or any secondary properties, like a cabin or vacation home. If you have an emotional attachment to the property itself, trying to retain the property in a divorce may be a priority for you.
However, you do not have to keep the real estate holdings in order to receive your fair share of the value. A court might have your spouse refinance the property and pay you for your share of the equity. The court could also give you certain other assets in order to offset your share of the home equity.