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Division of Property

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:

  • The contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservations, or increase or decrease in value of the marital or non-marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or to the family unit.
  • The dissipation by either party of the marital or non-marital property;
  • The value of the property assigned to each spouse;

The duration of the marriage;

  • The relevant economic circumstances of each spouse when the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home, or the right to live therein for reasonable periods, to the spouse having custody of the children;
  • Any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either party;
  • Any antenuptial agreement of the parties;
  • The age, health, stations, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties;
  • The custodial provisions for any children;
  • Whether the apportionment is in lieu of or in addition to maintenance;
  • The reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income; and
  • The tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties.

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