Attorneys in Chicago and Northbrook Work to Ensure the Distribution of Property in Your Divorce Is Fair
Chicago Divorce Attorneys
Fighting for your equitable share of the marital assets
Like most states, Illinois subscribes to an “equitable” approach to the distribution of marital property. The court means to distribute the property commensurate with the effort you contributed to the marriage, and not just in terms of income: who cared for the children, who transported them to school, who made household repairs and who mowed the grass are all considered. With so many factors subject to the judge’s discretion, retaining a vigilant, persuasive and thorough law firm like The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. can make a big difference in how well you are represented before the court.
Marital property does not mean all property
The first step is to determine what property is marital and what property was brought into the marriage. The former is up for distribution between you and your spouse; the latter, less so. Any gifts or inheritances you receive during the marriage are considered yours.
If you owned a home prior to the marriage that was valued at $400,000, and it is worth $600,000 now, the first $400,000 is considered yours, but the remaining $200,000 may be considered marital property, particularly if your spouse has since contributed to the mortgage or upkeep of the property.
The division of marital property can get complicated when retirement accounts, real estate properties and other investments are involved. The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. is adept at resolving complex distribution of property issues.
The distribution of property also includes the division of marital debt. Debt brought into the marriage may be considered non-marital if the spouse has not co-signed for the debt, does not benefit directly from the debt and does not have access to the account.
Equitable does not always mean equal
The distribution of property in Illinois is based on the court’s assessment of “equitable” distribution, which is not necessarily “equal” distribution. In arriving at how much will go to whom, the court considers:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition and maintenance of the marital property, including contributions as a homemaker or head of household
- The dissipation of the marital property by either spouse
- The value added to the property by each spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- The relevant economic circumstances of each spouse, including the desirability of awarding the family home (or the right to be there) to the custodial spouse
- Any obligations and rights arising from the prior marriage of either party
- Any prenuptial and postnuptial agreement the spouses have made
- The age, health, occupation, income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each spouse
- The allocation of parental responsibilities and support arrangements
- The spousal maintenance award
- The reasonable opportunity of each spouse to earn income and acquire assets in the future
- The tax consequences of the property division for each spouse
Note that this list does not include consideration of the grounds for divorce. In Illinois, the grounds for divorce cannot be used in determining child support, spousal support or the equitable division of property.
Let a competent lawyer handle all distribution of property requirements and negotiations
The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. brings more than 25 years’ experience in navigating distribution of property law and judicial discretion. We propose creative strategies that help you satisfy equitable distribution and ensure you get your fair share, while minimizing taxes wherever possible. Call us at 847.897.5288 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.