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Am I Entitled to Marital Property in a Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on April 03,2024 in Illinois Divorce

Kane County, IL divorce lawyerFiling for divorce can be a complex legal process that involves more than just you and your spouse. Any agreement will also need to address things like child custody (if applicable), alimony, and other factors. 

A common point of dispute among divorcing couples is the division of assets between the parties. Using a skilled attorney can help simplify this process, which Illinois law refers to as the distribution of marital property.

What is Marital Property?

Illinois law defines “marital property” as any assets you or your spouse acquired after getting married, including debts or other obligations.

Marital property does not, however, automatically include assets that were:

  • Received as gifts or part of an inheritance

  • Excluded in a premarital or postnuptial agreement 

The above assets are referred to as “non-marital property” and are not necessarily divided in a divorce.

How is Marital Property Divided?

When deciding how to divide marital property between divorcing parties, a court will look at several factors, such as:

  • The length of the marriage 

  • Each party’s contribution to the assets in question

  • The incomes and occupations of each party

  • Each party’s liabilities, needs, and non-marital property

A court will also consider whether either of the parties will be required to pay family maintenance, such as alimony payments. In that case, he or she may be entitled to a greater share of the marital property.

Another major factor that will be considered is the economic situation of each individual. Who has a greater need for the property? How employable is each person and how likely is he or she to find work? Who has custody of the children and can he or she support them as well?

Is My Spouse Entitled to the House?

The residence lived in by a divorcing couple is another common point of dispute. If the house was acquired by either party after the marriage began and it was not an inheritance or a gift then it will likely be considered marital property. In that case, a court may have to decide who has a right to live in the house and who retains ownership of the home based on the factors above.

But even if the house is considered the non-marital property of one of the parties, the other spouse may still be entitled to some of the house’s value. This can happen if he or she contributed significant personal effort to it or if his or her name was added to the deed or mortgage during the marriage.

It is important to note that Illinois courts now greatly prefer divorcing spouses to reach an agreement about property division on their own. To this end, a court is likely to mandate that a divorcing couple attend mediation together before the court will allow a property division disagreement to proceed to courtroom litigation. Unless there is an issue like domestic violence that does not allow for reasonable discussion between spouses, courts try not to intervene unless it is necessary. 

Contact Kane County, Illinois Divorce Attorneys

Divorces are rarely simple, and dividing marital property between two divorcing parties is especially complex. It can be simplified, however, with the help of an experienced attorney. Contact qualified St. Charles, Illinois divorce lawyers at Weiler & Associates, Inc. for top-quality legal services by calling 630-331-9110.

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