What Factors are Considered in the Division of Marital Property?
If you are getting a divorce in Illinois, you may be expecting to receive an equal 50 percent of the property you and your spouse own. However, Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state when it comes to the division of marital property. This means that property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. Although many divorce cases are finalized with a 50/50 split, this is not always the end result. Judges may consider a variety of factors when determining how to fairly divide assets, including:
The Financial Position and Earning Power of Each Spouse
If one spouse is going to be in a bad financial position after the divorce, and the other spouse is very well off, a judge will take this into consideration. This is particularly true if the spouse that does not have a lot of finances stayed home to look after the household and take care of the children.
When one spouse did stay home, a judge will also consider their ability to find a well-paying job once the marriage ends. If a parent had stayed home for a very long time caring for children, they may find it difficult to get back into the workforce. Therefore, they may be awarded more in property or assets.
The Degree to Which Each Spouse Contributed to Acquisition of Marital Property
A judge will also consider how much each spouse contributed toward the marriage. This factor again concerns those that stayed at home to care for children. Typically, these spouses have little or no income, and they may not have contributed financially to obtaining assets such as the marital home.
However, a judge will consider not only financial contributions, but “sweat equity” contributions as well. If the spouse that stayed home did so to help forward the other spouse’s career, or if they contributed to the household by caring for children and performing housekeeping duties, those contributions may also be taken into consideration.
On a case by case basis, there are other factors a judge will also consider when dividing property. These include the ages of the spouses, their health, any future financial needs they may have, whether spousal maintenance will be awarded, and if there are prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to consider. A judge may also consider the infidelity, substance abuse, or other damaging behaviors of one partner if it affected the couple’s assets and finances during the marriage.
Call Our Mt. Prospect Asset Division Lawyer
If you are considering divorce, you should not navigate the process on your own. Divorces can turn ugly very quickly, and a Northwest Cook County divorce attorney can help make the process easier. Attorney Nicholas W. Richardson has the experience necessary to negotiate with the other side and help you reach a favorable settlement. He has the skills necessary to get your divorce finalized as quickly and smoothly as possible, so you can put it behind you and begin your new life. Call our office today at 847.873.6741 to schedule a free consultation.