As discussed in a previous blog, the division of property in a divorce is a complex and nuanced issue in Illinois. This is because, as with many states, property is not simply divided equally; by law, it must be divided “equitably.” In general, equitable distribution of assets is not a strict and simple process. Typically, the decisions are subjective depending on what the parties or the judge find to be fairest depending on the circumstances. The determination of what is “equitable” is based on a variety of factors.
What Is Considered “Equitable” in Illinois
As mentioned in the last post, only marital property can be divided in a divorce; that is, only property or other assets purchased or obtained during the marriage will be divided. As such, the equitable distribution of property refers only to marital property.
While there might be that rare occasion when what is considered “equitable” in a divorce case just so happens to also be “equal,” more often than not, equitable division of assets is much more complicated and multifaceted. Overall, when determining what is equitable, divorcing spouses, their lawyers, and the judges in their cases may consider any or all of the following:
The amount of financial or other contributions each spouse made to the property or assets during the marriage
The employment of each spouse, including vocational training and future opportunities for upward mobility
The financial obligations of each spouse, including alimony and spousal support
The duration of the marriage
Either spouse’s use of joint income for purposes unrelated to the marriage
Each spouse’s ability to attain more of the same assets in the future
The physical health of each spouse
Any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
The future financial needs of each spouse
Distributing the Assets Equitably
Once the aforementioned factors are taken into consideration in the division of property during a divorce, the respective parties or the judge in their case must decide how the assets and property will be equitably divided. This may involve something as straightforward as dividing the assets according to specific percentages, or it could be more intricate and long term, requiring future installment payments over time from one spouse to the other.
Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney
There are many factors to consider when making a determination about what is equitable when dividing property during your divorce. Due to this, it is important that you have a well-informed DuPage County asset division lawyer on your side through the entire divorce process. If you want to ensure that your property will be equitably divided in a way that protects your financial security, contact us at 630-871-1002 for a complimentary consultation.