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Illinois Property Division Basics
03 Mar, 2024

Illinois Property Division Basics

The division of marital property in a divorce is often a complicated matter that has the potential to become extremely contentious. Having a better understanding of the Illinois property division basics can help provide you with a better feel for the path forward and can help you make the right decisions – as they relate to property division – for you. One of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to protecting your financial rights in relation to the division of your marital property is working closely with an experienced Illinois family law attorney from the outset. 

Is It Marital Property?

In Illinois, that property that you and your spouse acquire over the course of your marriage is considered marital property, which must be divided equitably – or fairly (once the relevant circumstances are factored in). Sometimes, however, determining what is marital property and what is separate property can be an immense challenge in and of itself. 

Separate property refers to any assets that you brought into your marriage with you – and that you managed to keep separate throughout – and any gifts or inheritances that you received while married and that were in your name only. If the asset came to you while you were married, it’s very likely marital property and can include all of the following (regardless of who made the purchase or whose name is attached): 

  • Real estate, including your home
  • Investments
  • Vehicles
  • Any items or collections of value, including artwork and jewelry
  • Retirement accounts
  • Interest in or ownership of a business 

It’s important to point out that, even if an asset came with you into the marriage and you kept it completely disentangled from your marital property, any increase in its value will very likely be deemed marital property. 

Finding a Resolution between Yourselves

If you and your divorcing spouse are able to negotiate between yourselves – with the skilled legal guidance of your respective family law attorneys – there are a variety of strategies that can help you find a middle ground that you are both willing to sign off on in relation to the division of your marital property, including:

  • Selling off significant assets and dividing the earnings fairly
  • Dividing the rest of the assets in a manner that makes sense to you both in your situation
  • Addressing assets, such as a business, with an eye toward maintaining the business’s value and compensating the spouse who walks away equitably

There is also the matter of the family home to address. Many parents are becoming creative with this one, and because they want to upset their children’s lives as little as possible, some continue owning the house together in order to keep their shared children living in their family home post-divorce.

Turn to an Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need

The seasoned Illinois family law attorneys at SLG Family Law are well versed at successfully resolving complicated issues related to property division, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.



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