A divorce can be a messy and heartbreaking event. Naturally, the last thing on your mind is who gets to keep what. This is where a court of law will step in. This can be a good or a bad decision – depending on your contributions, but an experienced divorce attorney can make sure you get what is rightfully yours.
How Are Assets Split During a Divorce?
Under Illinois laws, ‘property’ includes financial assets such as brokerage accounts, investments and physical assets such as properties. Before the judge reaches a verdict as to how those should be split, the judge must determine what category they fall under – either marital or separate.
Marital property includes assets that are acquired during the marriage and separate assets, which include those acquired individually before either spouse got married. This can include an inheritance and gifts couples may have given each other.
However, some separate property can also be deemed marital property. For instance, if one spouse deposits money from an inheritance into a joint bank account their spouse shares with them, those funds must be split during the divorce proceedings.
Once the court determines which assets are marital and which are individual, the individual assets are broken up and divided according to equitable distribution, i.e. as fairly as possible. In other words, do not expect a clean 50/50 split down the middle. Certain factors come into play before the court finalizes the list, such as:
Each Spouse’s Contribution
According to the law, the court has to determine how much each spouse contributed to the marital property. This includes acquisition as well as increase or decrease in value. By decrease in value, we mean expenditures that may have reduced the value of the asset.
The spouse who contributed more income during the marriage should get more rather than the one who racked up debt.
The Property Value
This covers the value of both marital and non-marital property each spouse owns. If one has a lot of non-marital property, the court may award a disproportionate share to the other, as to be fair. However, this also includes debt – the party with enough non-marital assets can be told to pay for most of it.
The Duration of the Marriage
This factor comes into play when the court must decide how much the homemaker in the relationship deserves in terms of assets in long-term marriages. It also prevents individuals who are in short-term marriages in taking advantage of affluent spouses.
If you live in Elgin, IL, and are in search of a divorce lawyer who can ensure you get the property and assets you deserve, get in touch with Casement Group, P.C. today. We are dedicated when it comes to protecting the legal rights of our clients and are known for personalized representation. Schedule your consultation today by getting in touch with us and we will pair you with an attorney who can help you.