When a marriage ends in divorce, it involves a series of difficult decisions, not the least of which are the decisions regarding property division. It would be more comfortable and less time consuming if a couple were able to discuss the matter amicably. However, many couples cannot agree when it comes to dividing property, assets, and debts. If you are unable to reach an agreement, a judge will do so for you. A judge will make their decision after weighing the following factors:
Marital vs. Non-Marital Property
Any property acquired during the tenure of the marriage is considered marital property. Illinois courts do not have jurisdiction over the non-marital property, which is any property earned or otherwise accumulated before the union began. After determining marital property, the judge then divides it into what is considered “fair and equitable.” Fair and equitable is not to say that the property splits equally, but rather by what is a “just proportion.” Prime examples of property not included in marital property are:
- Property owned by a spouse before the marriage,
- Anything received by one spouse by gift or inheritance, and
- Restrictions based on a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
The Family Home
One of the most significant purchases a couple makes together is the family home. Since both parties are often significantly invested either through time, money, or improvements, it is complicated to determine a fair and equitable split. Common outcomes include:...