If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, you may be worried about how your assets will be divided between you and your soon-to-be ex. The division of marital assets is often the most contentious part of the divorce process – especially for high-net-worth individuals. How can you be sure that your assets are divided fairly? How can you be sure that your spouse is not manipulating the process to get a larger piece of the pie?

For answers to these crucial questions and guidance throughout the divorce process, reach out to an experienced family law attorney in Illinois. The skilled lawyers at Beermann LLP are adept at managing high-net-worth divorces.  We have the necessary tools to ensure your spouse does not come out of your divorce with assets that are rightfully yours.

How Does Illinois Define Marital Property?

First, the basics: Marital property is anything (income and debts) acquired by either spouse during the marriage. This includes the income that both parties earn during the marriage. It does not include property owned by the parties before the marriage, gifts to individual parties made before or during the marriage, or assets inherited by either party before or during the marriage. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and financial matters can get murky when non-marital assets are mixed in with marital assets, otherwise known as commingling (think using your inheritance to build a new wing on your marital home). If you are not sure what parts of your estate constitute marital or nonmarital property, reach out to a family law attorney in Illinois for guidance you can trust.

How is Marital Property Divided in an Illinois Divorce?

Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that when a judge divides marital property between divorcing spouses, they do not just draw a line down the center, giving each party half, though 50/50 is the starting place for the equitable analysis. Illinois judges have the discretion to take many factors into consideration when dividing assets, including, but not limited to, the following:

      • Duration of the marriage
      • Current income of the parties
      • Earning potential of the parties
      • Education of the parties
      • Ages of the parties
      • Dissipation of funds from the marital estate
      • Tax consequences

Keep in mind that, because Illinois is a no-fault state, a judge will not penalize one party for bad behavior, such as domestic violence, addiction, or infidelity, by giving them a smaller piece of the marital estate. Because each marriage is unique, and certain classes of assets have unique complexities, the division of assets in any given divorce will be custom-tailored to the parties involved.

Thomas T. Field, Equity Partner, JD, MBA, CFL

For more information on Mr. Field, please visit: www.beermannlaw.com/team/thomas-t-field/.