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Posted on in Distribution of Assets

Divorcing is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. According to the American Psychology Association, divorce is one of the major life events that can have serious psychological implications on both parties. Most divorces, of course, come from an already-stressful marriage. With all sorts of new challenges, such as division of property, the dueling couple might feel completely overwhelmed with the idea of separation. If you’re going through a divorce, there are some important Illinois laws regarding division of property to keep in mind.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, in Illinois, "if property was acquired during the marriage there is a presumption that the property is marital." This means that even if the property is solely in your spouse’s name, it’s still considered to be jointly owned. If property was a gift, was acquired before the marriage or after a legal separation, however, it’s not considered to be jointly owned. These, of course, are important exceptions to keep in mind before even considering divorce.

Another important asset division concept pertinent to keep in mind before filing for divorce is the issue of inheritance. If one spouse receives an inheritance during the marriage, if he or she mingles this inheritance in joint funds or invests it in joint property, the inheritance is considered part of the marital estate, and no longer considered individual property.

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If you’re a woman going through a divorce, you need to ask yourself two tough questions: Could your husband be hiding assets? And if he is, does that mean you won’t get the divorce settlement you deserve?

Hiding assets during a divorce is sneaky, unethical and illegal – and it happens much more frequently than most women suspect.

Unfortunately, as you go through the divorce process, your husband may try to take advantage of the situation by hiding income and/or assets. How can you tell? What steps can you take to ensure you have an accurate accounting of your family finances?

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Unlike some other states, Illinois is not a community property state. Money or property acquired during the course of the marriage is presumed to belong to the marriage and, as such, is subject to an equitable division upon divorce. What is "equitable" is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Some examples of the property that is divided in a divorce include homes, automobiles, household furniture and furnishings, bank accounts, pensions and retirement plans, stocks and stock options, businesses and business interests, and even frequent flier miles.

In dividing marital property, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act requires that the Judge consider the following factors:

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Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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