What About Our Property?

Illinois follows a rule that can usually be simplified to "What was mine is mine, what was yours is yours, what is ours is yours and mine."  If the property was obtained after you said "I Do" but before dissolution, then the property is considered marital property.  The Court can split all of the property that is marital property.

While you're married, either spouse can do whatever he or she wants with the property, including buy more, sell it or transfer the property in any way desirable.  If you are worried about the disposition of the property during your pending divorce, please note that the Court will enter an official order creating a stay, where the Court supervises the assets and the parties cannot manipulate the marital assets without judicial approval.

When it comes to more particular questions, like "Who gets the House?," "Who gets the truck?," and "Am I getting Grandma's china back?" these are questions that will ultimately be answered during the settlement proceedings for the divorce.  If you and your former spouse are able to be friendly, this can be worked out between the parties, otherwise the judicial split will not consider the sentimentality, but only pure fairness.

Below we've listed the factors that the Court uses to identify this split:

  • each spouse's contribution to the acquisition, preservation, 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 spouse 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 there for a reasonable time, to the spouse having custody of the children
  • any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either party
  • any prenuptial agreement the spouses made prior to marriage
  • the age, health, occupation, income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each spouse
  • the child custody arrangements
  • whether the court awarded spousal maintenance (for example, the court might award a larger amount of property to a spouse rather than awarding that spouse alimony)
  • the reasonable opportunity of each spouse to earn income and acquire assets in the future, and
  • the tax consequences of the property division on each spouse.

Our attorneys can help your family decipher these factors and figure out a comprehensive legal plan that assists you in securing the best assets from your marriage.