A divorce settlement agreement is a legal document that lays out the terms of a divorce and often includes details regarding child custody, property division, spousal maintenance and other relevant information in a divorce. Those considering divorce in Illinois often have questions how the division of property is determined in an Illinois divorce settlement agreement.
Illinois Division of Marital Assets
Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning that a court looks at the division of marital assets on a case by case basis, which may or may not result in a 50|50 split. There are several factors a court will take into consideration:
Contributions to the Marriage
The court will weigh what each spouse contributed to the marriage both economically and non-economically. Say for example, one spouse works outside of the home to earn income while the other stays home to raise kids – both are viewed as contributions to the marriage and therefore factor into the division of marital property.
Sometimes one spouse will put a career on hold to further the other spouse’s career or to hold down the fort and kids while the other spouse earns income. This may leave one spouse at a disadvantage in a divorce because they lack skills and a work history in order to obtain a well- paying job. The court will take the earning capacity of each spouse into consideration when determining the division of assets in a divorce.
Financial Resources of Each Party
Some spouses come into a marriage with significant separate property or may have received an inheritance or gift putting them in a much better financial circumstance than a spouse with fewer assets. One spouse may earn significantly more than the other. When making a property division determination, a court will factor in the financial resources of each spouse.
Length of a Marriage
Whether it is the division property or the award of spousal maintenance, the length of the marriage often factors into the equation.
Other Relevant Factors
Every situation is unique and it is important to get the information you need to put you and your family in the best position possible after a divorce. When you have questions regarding marital property division in an Illinois divorce, contact the Lake county family law office of Ronald L. Bell & Associates, P.C. for assistance at 847-495-6000.