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Equitable Property Division in Illinois Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

equitable property divisionIllinois, like the majority of states in this country, is not a community property state when it comes to dividing up the marital estate during a divorce. Instead, the decision is based on "equitable distribution" of a couple’s assets. Equitable distribution does not mean assets are split in half, with each spouse receiving 50 percent. Instead, it is the court who decides what an equitable and fair division is.

In some cases, spouses are able to negotiate an agreement between themselves, or with the help of their attorneys, and the judge’s signature is a formality needed to make the agreement legal. In many other cases, however, a judge is the one who makes the decision of what is an equitable distribution based on the evidence each spouse introduces into trial.

There are several factors a judge will consider when making his or her decision. These factors include:

  • The duration of the couple’s marriage;
  • The ability of each spouse to support themselves. A spouse who has put their career on hold in order to be the primary caretaker of the couple’s children may end up with a larger portion of the marital estate; and
  • The judge will also consider what the career prospects and/or vocational training of each spouse, as well as their age and health.

Occasionally, a high-asset divorce case will make the headlines because of its ongoing and acrimonious negotiations. The details of these negotiations – or lack thereof – become public. Some financial advisers suggest that anyone going through a divorce can benefit from the details of these high-profile cases, not just couples with extremely high-assets to negotiate, and learn how to apply these lessons to their own negotiations.

One of the most critical things to establish during the divorce process is the formal date of separation. (In Illinois, a couple is required to be formally separated for two years if filing under no-fault grounds for divorce.) This is especially true if a couple has been separated for some time and one spouse has made significant earnings or other asset gains during that period.

If you are considering a divorce and are looking for an experienced Lombard family law attorney, contact A. Traub and Associates for a consultation today.

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