Custody considerations often dominate discussions of what will happen in a divorce, but not every married couple that divorces has minor children, and even those that do often end up agreeing on how to split time with the children and responsibility for them.
However, when it comes to property division matters, there are very few factors forcing people to remain cooperative and altruistic toward their spouse. Frequently, disagreements about property division can turn divorces ugly and can lead to protracted disputes that result in expensive litigation. Those who understand what to expect during property division proceedings in Illinois may have an easier time accepting a reasonable settlement offer.
All Assets In The Marital Estates Are Subject To Division
If divorcing spouses end up in family court, a judge will look at every asset that they share and even all of the income that they earn during the marriage as potentially divisible in the divorce. Additionally, the debts that either spouse took on during the marriage, ranging from credit card balances to student loans, may also be part of the marital estate. Even accounts and resources held in the name of just one spouse are often subject to equitable division in modern divorce proceedings.
Only assets that someone can designate as separate property are exempt from division. Separate property often includes inherited assets and gifts, as well as property owned prior to marriage or specifically protected in a marital agreement.
How Do The Courts Divide Those Resources?
There is no straightforward formula that guides property division in Illinois divorces. What is fair for one couple will not work for another. Considerations including the health and earning potential of both spouses, their unpaid contributions to the household and the length of the marriage will influence what a judge determines would be reasonable for the division of their shared property.
Many people dislike the uncertainty that comes from a judge having control over the asset division process. It is often ideal for divorcing couples to negotiate their own property division settlements either through their lawyers or via mediation. Learning more about property division laws in Illinois can help people set realistic expectations for their upcoming divorce and to ask their attorneys informed questions about how best to proceed.