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DuPage County asset division lawyerOne of the most challenging aspects of a divorce can often be determining how property will be divided. Illinois law dictates that only marital, or shared, property should be divided during a divorce and that non-marital, or separate, property is not. However, it can be hard to determine what property is considered marital and what property is considered separate.

Untangling two individuals’ finances and assets during divorce can be a complicated endeavor – especially if the couple is not able or willing to negotiate. In some situations, property decisions are left up to the judge assigned to the case. The judge will then use a method of property division called “equitable distribution” in order to assign property to each spouse.

What Is Considered Non-Marital Property?

Separate property is not subject to equitable division and will be assigned to the spouse who owns it during divorce. Separate property generally includes:

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Posted on in Division of Assets

Naperville divorce attorneyIn some states, divorcing spouses are entitled to an equal share of their “community property.” This, however, is not the case in Illinois. Illinois and 40 other states are considered “equitable distribution” states, which means that the marital property of a divorcing couple must be divided fairly between the spouses, not necessarily equally. While determining what is fair can be quite complicated, the process begins with identifying what property is considered marital and what is considered non-marital for the purposes of the divorce.

Illinois Law

Most of the statutes that govern the divorce process in Illinois are contained in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). The IMDMA expressly defines marital property as “all property, including debts and other obligations, acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage” with several important exceptions. These exceptions include but are not limited to:

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DuPage County asset division lawyerSometimes in a divorce proceeding, one or both spouses try to get an unfair advantage in regard to property division. Asset hiding is depressingly common, with Forbes reporting approximately one-third of people with joint bank accounts have committed “financial deception.” However, it is still illegal, and you could be in serious trouble if you are caught.

Illinois Property Division

In Illinois, marital property division is done equitably, which means fairly rather than equally. It is generally held to be a matter of good public policy that divorce proceedings do not leave one spouse in a significantly financially disadvantaged position. If one spouse has far more earning potential than the other, he or she will likelyl be ordered to provide more support or given fewer assets.

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