Illinois divorce law does not start out by assuming that everything needs to be divided equally in a divorce. Unlike community property states, Illinois is an equitable distribution state where the court seeks to divide marital property in just proportion. While fairness can be a subjective concept, there are many factors that courts consider when making a determination.
Considering Contributions to the Marriage When Dividing Marital Property
The court will consider the respective contributions of both spouses. With an eye on the duration of the marriage, a court may decide that a lower earning spouse who has spent years contributing to the household in other ways may be awarded a share of assets proportionate to his or her contributions.
It may be that one spouse stayed home to raise the children so that the other could pursue their career wholeheartedly. It could also be one spouse helping the other get through college by providing funds or other contributions along the way. The court will look at each party’s financial and other contributions to arrive at a fair settlement.
Conversely, for spouses who dissipated assets there will be an accounting. If your spouse wasted, destroyed or hid marital assets, they will be penalize accordingly in the distribution. Keep in mind, however, fault that is not financial will not play a role in distribution.
In many cases, marital property division does not reach the courts if the parties are able to reach an agreement with the help of a family law attorney. However, a judge may refuse to approve or require the modification of provisions that are clearly unfair, especially when considering the contributions made by a stay at home spouse that should be duly noted.
If you have questions regarding Illinois marital property division in a divorce, contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell PC for help. Located in Libertyville, Illinois, Attorney Bell can answer your question regarding Illinois divorce, marital asset division, parenting time agreements, child support or other family law matters. Call today at 847-495-6000.