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Division of Marital Property in a Divorce

 Posted on September 11, 2015 in DIvision of Property

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois divorce laws,Getting married is more than just a symbolic moment. Typically, what used to belong to "you" and "I" is now owned by "us." This not only includes the flat-screen television and the suburban home but also Tabby the cat. What happens, though, when the relationship begins to sour? Couple's counseling has turned up more loose ends than solutions, and the only answer left is to file for a divorce.

Items that once existed peacefully in marital bliss now need to be assigned new owners. Dividing property is always a sticking point during divorce proceedings with each partner trying to secure his and her favorite items, whether it's the trustworthy kettle or the lakeside cabin.

Marital and Separate Property

In Illinois, couples have the option to resolve property issues outside of court. However, if they cannot reach an agreement, a judge will have to review the case. According to Illinois law, the first step in dividing property during a divorce is figuring out whether property is marital or separate.

Property is considered to be separate if a spouse owned it before entering the marriage, or earned it during the marriage via an inheritance or a gift. Separate property may also include items purchased using income generated by other separate property.

For example, if one spouse owns an antique piano before entering the marriage, then during the divorce, that spouse will maintain the item. However, if the other spouse contributed toward its maintenance and the piano was sold, then that spouse is entitled to a share of the profits.

Marital property includes most debts and assets a couple acquired during their marriage. In addition to the above, a judge will take into account several other factors, including each spouse's liabilities and needs, as well as the economic circumstances of each spouse.

Dividing the Property

After determining which property is marital, the spouses - or the courts - will assign a monetary value to each item. Spouses can then divide the assets by assigning certain items to each spouse or by selling off property and splitting the proceeds.

In some cases, couples agree to continue owning the property together. This is usually to keep a family home until their children have finished school, or to hang onto a lucrative investment until it turns a tidy profit.

Consult an Attorney

If your marriage is ending, call an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney to find out how our lawyers can help with your proceedings. Call 630-665-2500 to arrange a consultation.


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