Reeder & Brown, P.C.


How Illinois Property Division is Handled

 Posted on February 18, 2024 in Divorce

Blog ImageIllinois is an equitable distribution state and divides marital assets accordingly during the divorce process. To further understand how Illinois handles property division after a divorce, an experienced attorney will have the insight and knowledge you will need.

Equitable Distribution

Equitable distribution is the method used to decide how marital assets are divided in the state of Illinois. Instead of dividing everything in a 50/50 split between spouses, Illinois chooses to divide things equitably and fairly. Many things can factor into how assets are divided including:

  • Any businesses owned between the parties

  • How much each spouse contributed to the ownership of assets 

  • Whether either spouse is responsible for an outsized accumulation of debt unrelated to the marriage 

  • Whether a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement exists 

  • Whether one spouse dissipated assets 

  • Spousal maintenance payments

As Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, issues like adultery and domestic abuse are not factored into the division of marital assets. It is important to remember that equality of distribution is not the focus of how Illinois divides marital assets. Instead, the law looks to ensure each spouse is treated fairly according to their circumstances.

Separate and Commingled Property

Separate property is any property that is not considered part of the marital estate. Generally speaking, marital property is all property accrued during the marriage, including salaries, bonuses, and pieces of real estate. Separate property is property that a person privately owned before the marriage took place, or that was inherited after the marriage began. Premarital agreements are used primarily to prevent personal property from becoming commingled with marital property. Without one, it can be very difficult to prove that certain property belonged to a single person before the marriage began.

However, the line dividing separate and marital property is not always clear. When separate property is commingled with marital property, it can become marital property in the eyes of the court. This means that anything you thought you had a one hundred percent claim to can now be subject to division. It is important to keep these personal assets separate from your marital assets or else they too can face property division in an Illinois court.

Contact a Will County, IL Divorce Attorney

Protect what is yours through a premarital agreement or postmarital agreement, and keep receipts and other documentation as proof of ownership. When looking to hold onto what you worked hard to earn, an experienced Plainfield, IL divorce lawyer can help. Reeder & Brown, P.C. is knowledgeable and experienced in the complexities of Illinois property division and distribution. For a free consultation, contact the office at 815-885-5980.

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