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Understanding The Basics Of Property Division

Dividing property in a divorce can be a challenging process that becomes more difficult with complex assets. At Reich, Jumbeck, Stole & Reeb, LLP, our attorneys help people in Will, Kendall, DuPage and Grundy counties with their marital asset division. What follows is a short explanation of what a marital asset is and the elements the court uses to decide division.

What Is Marital Property?

In a divorce, only marital property may be considered for division. The law generally defines marital property as assets acquired during a marriage.

Some common marital property includes:

  • Business assets and property
  • Cars, motorcycles and other vehicles
  • A primary household, vacation home and other real property
  • Checking, savings and retirement accounts
  • Personal property such as office equipment and computers

Some assets that a court may not consider as marital include items obtained before marriage, property excluded by an agreement , inheritance and some types of gifts.

What The Court Considers During Allocation

Many factors can go into marital property division, including but not limited to:

  • Spousal maintenance (alimony) agreements
  • Marriage length

  • Each spouse’s current economic circumstances
  • Each spouse’s vocational skill and opportunity for future asset acquisition
  • The age of each spouse
  • Health considerations
  • The property value’s assigned to each spouse
  • Obligations from a previous marriage
  • The role each spouse played in acquiring and preserving marital property
  • Contributions as a homemaker
  • Child custody agreements
  • The value of the family home
  • The tax consequences of assets

In Illinois, asset division in a divorce must be equitable, not equal. This means that property may not be a 50-50 split but rather based on the circumstances of the marriage and divorce. Because the meaning of equitable is malleable, your choice of divorce representation can have a large effect on your division of marital property.

Talk To Attorneys Who Can Protect Your Interests

A knowledgeable divorce lawyer can create a legal strategy that protects the property you would like to keep. Our experienced legal staff can represent your interests in negotiations and the courtroom. Call our Joliet firm now at 815-770-2669 or send us an email to set up your first meeting.