If you are considering entering into divorce proceedings, you may be wondering what will happen to the property you own. Each state has its own laws that determine how to divide property in a divorce. In Illinois, the law states that property must be divided in an equitable, but not necessarily equal, manner. Before the court can make the decision regarding how to divide the property, the property first needs to be divided into two categories: marital property and non-marital property.
Marital Vs. Non-Marital Property
Marital property includes any property or debts that were acquired during the course of the marriage by either spouse. The types of property that are considered marital assets may vary widely. The scope of what is and is not marital property does not stop at large purchases; it can be any type of physical property or financial assets that the couple has in their home or elsewhere. However, some assets may not be considered marital property even if they were acquired during the marriage, such as if the item was a gift or inheritance.
Most non-marital property consists of assets that were acquired by either spouse before the marriage. However, non-marital property can also include property received in exchange for other property which was acquired before the marriage, property acquired by a spouse after a legal separation, or property not included as marital property because of a legal agreement between the spouses (such as a prenuptial agreement).
Assessing Value and Division
Once it has been determined what is marital property and what is not, the spouses, or the court, will allot a monetary value to each asset. It may be necessary to hire financial appraisers or a certified public accountant to assist in determining the value of marital assets. After the property has been valued, the couple can reach an agreement on how to divide assets, and if they cannot come to a decision, the property will be divided by the court. A judge will decide what is fair based on a variety of factors, including how long the couple has been married and each spouse’s living situation, age, and employability.
Contact a Knowledgeable Kane County Divorce Lawyer
If you need help determining how to divide property in your divorce, our skilled Algonquin divorce attorney can help you understand your rights and advocate for your best interests. We will be with you throughout every step of the divorce process, helping you reach a positive outcome that will provide you with the financial resources you need after your divorce is finalized. Contact the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC today at 847-428-7725 to schedule a free consultation.