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The Basics of Equitable Distribution in Illinois

 Posted on October 25, 2016 in Division of Property

Lombard family law attorneyWhen you are going through a divorce, it is a reasonable to wonder how you and your spouse will divide the property that you have accumulated during the course of your marriage. For many couples, in fact, disputes regarding the division of assets are among the most contentious in the entire divorce process. If you and your spouse are not able to reach an agreement regarding your property, the court will rely on provisions in the law to determine which of you will be receiving what.

Not Necessarily Equal

Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means there is not legal presumption that marital property should be divided equally. Rather than a guaranteed 50-50 split, equitable distribution holds that the marital estate must be divided in a manner that is reasonable and fair, based on the circumstances of the marriage and divorce. This means that every situation is unique and must be considered individually by the court.

Statutory Considerations

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides a list of factors that the court will take into account when dividing marital property. These considerations include, but are not limited to:

  • The contributions of each spouse to the acquisition and value of the marital estate;
  • Each spouse’s age, health, employability, resources, and economic circumstances;
  • Provisions being made for the couple’s children, if applicable;
  • Whether property is being awarded in place of or in addition to maintenance (alimony);
  • Any previous obligations for support or maintenance for either spouse;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • Expected tax implications;
  • Any claims of dissipation, or wasted assets, made by either spouse; and
  • The terms of a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

It is important to realize that contributions to the marital estate also include those of a spouse taking on the role of homemaker or stay-at-home parent. The efforts of stay-at-home parent, for example, may be seen as a vital to the other spouse’s ability to earn a substantial income in his or her field.

Questions About Dividing Marital Property?

If you are considering a divorce and have questions regarding how marital property is identified and divided during the process, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney. Call A. Traub & Associates today to schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient office locations. Our knowledgeable team will help you find the answers you need and provide the responsible, affordable representation you deserve. Let us show you how we can assist your family during a difficult time.



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