Protecting Your Future When Dividing Property
For many couples, dividing their property during divorce can be complicated and confusing. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that the court will divide the marital property on a basis of what is fair, as opposed to an “equal distribution” which would simply award each party 50% of the marital property. Marital property is defined by Illinois law as all property, including debts and other obligations, that either party acquired during the marriage, unless specifically exempt pursuant to the statute. Each party will also be awarded his or her non-marital property, which is defined, in part, as property acquired before the marriage, property acquired after a judgment of legal separation, and property acquired by gift, legacy, or descent.
Many people have questions regarding what constitutes marital property and how that property is valued. The attorneys at Caesar & Bender, LLP, have decades of family law experience and understand what is at stake in your divorce case.
Factors Considered in Determining Division Of Property
You and your spouse can certainly come to an agreement yourselves, or with the help of legal counsel, regarding how to divide your property. The court will typically enforce your agreement as long as it is fair. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, the court will consider certain factors when dividing marital assets, including:
- Each spouse’s economic circumstances including income
- The value of each asset assigned to each spouse
- Each spouse’s contribution to purchasing or building the value of the asset
- The reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of assets and income
- The length of marriage
- Other circumstances relevant to the divorce
Dividing Complex or Unique Assets
There are a few assets that can make the separation process even more complicated. High-value assets, business interests and retirement assets all require sophisticated knowledge and experience for proper division. Additionally, unique issues such as the legal rights to frozen embryos created by parties require an attorney with experience in this niche area of law.
We will always look out for your financial future as well as your personal priorities during the process and explain your options at each step.