Separating property in an Illinois divorce case


Separating marital property in an Illinois divorce case can be complicated and may require legal assistance to ensure that it is done right.


When going through a divorce, many couples must deal with strong emotions and heated discussions. In addition to alimony, child support, custody and visitation issues, people are forced to tackle the task of dividing their marital assets, joint property and sentimental treasures that have been collected during years of marriage. Illinois courts try their best to be fair when splitting up marital property and assets; however, fairproperty division does not always mean that the assets and property will be separated evenly between spouses.


The process of determining who gets what


According to Illinois state code, the state utilizes an equitable distribution method when dividing marital property in a divorce case. This model runs off of the belief that both parties involved in the divorce are entitled to their fair share of marital property and assets. This fair amount is determined by a court-appointed judge who ultimately decides who gets what after taking into consideration certain details regarding the marriage.


These factors include:


  • The amount of time and money contributed by each party to acquire, maintain and preserve the property.

  • Whether a spouse spent a significant amount of time in the home taking care of the family.

  • The value of the property.

  • Whether one parent has primary custody of the kids.

  • How long the marriage lasted.

  • How much money each party makes, their occupation, age, health, expenses and ability to find employment.


If there are any children involved in the divorce, the judge may consider how much child support and/or alimony has been awarded in the case as well.


Defining separate property


Property, assets and belongings that are owned by either spouse prior to the marriage are known as separate property, and will not be divided in a divorce case, according to Forbes. This includes inheritance or gifts given to either party by a person outside of the marriage. When separate assets are deposited into a joint bank account that is shared with the other party or separate property is retitled to reflect the name of the other party, the property and assets become marital and may be considered for equitable division.


Exploring types of marital property


According to Forbes, there are many different types of marital assets, and some go unnoticed and unclaimed by people going through a divorce. For instance, investments including life insurance policies, employee compensation plans, pensions, retirement plans and stock options are all considered marital. Odd items, such as cemetery plots, rare coin collections, country club memberships, gifts given to one another during the marriage, pets and copyrights may be categorized as marital property as well.


Negotiating these items can be extremely complicated. That is where the legal assistance of an established attorney can be vital. An attorney who has a thorough knowledge of Illinois state law can help you get every penny that you are entitled to in your divorce case.