If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may be dreading the property division phase of the divorce.
In the state of Illinois, property division must be equitable but that does not mean a 50-50 split. The court considers many factors in the process.
Preparing for property division
Organizing your finances takes time but collecting information will give you a clear picture of what you own and what you owe. In preparing for property division, you must identify your assets and categorize them with respect to marital or non-marital. Each asset must have an attached value. Your attorney will need a complete set of financial documents, but you should keep copies for yourself.
Determining equitable distribution
The court will consider several factors in determining a fair division of assets:
– the length of your marriage
– the age, health status and needs of both you and your spouse
– the contributions you have both made to the value of the marital property
– your economic circumstances at the time the division of property becomes effective
– sources of income, your vocation skills and potential for employment if you are not in the workforce at the time of the divorce
– custodial provisions for the children of the marriage
– the tax consequences of property division relative to the economic circumstances of both you and your spouse
Property division no doubt concerns you. Keep in mind that the goal of the court is to award distributions in the most equitable manner possible. The process will be easier to navigate if your financial documents are well organized as you face this part of the divorce process.