One of the biggest disagreements many divorcing couples get into is who gets what during the split. We’ve already covered how child custody is divided on another page, so today we’re going to focus solely on the division of property and assets after a divorce in Illinois.
Illinois is classified as as an equitable division state, which means marital property does not need to be divided 50/50. Instead, Illinois requires that all property be divided equitably, meaning that a number of different factors determine what type of property division you’ll receive, be it 55/45, 60/40 or 90/10. It’s also worth noting that Illinois does not consider marital misconduct when dividing property and assets, meaning that even if one spouse had multiple affairs that led to the dissolution of the marriage, those acts will not be considered when the court is dividing the property.
The 12 Factors
The following 12 factors all play a role in what is considered an “equitable division” of assets. Even if you consult with an attorney and decide to settle the matter out of court, your attorney will examine all 12 of these factors when proposing a settlement.
- Each Party’s Contribution – The courts will consider to what extent each party contributed to the acquisition, preservation, increase or decrease in value of martial and non-martial property. Illinois considers spending as a decrease in value, meaning if one spouse is making a lot of money, and the other is spending a lot of money, it’s not going to be a 50/50 split. A homemaker’s worth is also considered under this factor.
- Dissipation of Each Party – Legal speak for the wasting or hiding of assets. For example, if you sell your soon-to-be-ex’s Ferrari for $1, you’ll be penalized for the value of the vehicle by this factor.
- Value of Property Assigned – The value of martial and non-martial property assigned to each spouse is considered.
- Duration of Marriage – AKA the gold digger prevention rule.
- Relevant Economic Circumstances – If you’ve been a homemaker for 20 years while your husband has been a CEO, but you’ve done a good job parenting your children, the court may award the homemaker more equity because you may have a tougher time finding work after the divorce compared to your spouse who will not need to look for a new job.
- Prior Marriages – If one or both spouses receive financial support from a previous marriage, this will be factored into the division of assets.
- Agreements – If there are any prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements in place, they will be enforced or considered during property division.
- Situational Status – Factors like age, health, occupation, income availability, employability, estate, liabilities and the needs of each party will be considered under this factor.
- Custody – If one parent has more custody, they may have more expenses associated with child rearing, and thus could get a bigger division of assets.
- Maintenance – If an appropriate division cannot be reached, one party may pay regular maintenance to the other to make the division more equitable.
- Future Income – Judges are asked to consider “the reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income.”
- Taxes – If dividing certain assets results in a large tax bill, that will also be considered by the court. You’ll want a divorce lawyer who understands the tax implications of every divided asset.
As you can see, the above list is complicated and complex. That’s why you should always have a skilled divorce attorney on your side to help you get the best division of property. Contact us today for more information.