In uncontested divorce, spouses have a lot of freedom in how they divide their marital assets. Collaborative divorce has become far more popular than a contested divorce. It is easy to see why. When you go to court, it is largely up to a judge how they divide your marital assets, so long as they comply with Illinois law. When you and your spouse go to mediation or begin negotiating, you retain much more control over the final outcome. Alternative dispute resolution is also private, whereas contested divorce is not. Finally, deciding how to divide your property together is usually much less expensive and time-consuming than going through a battle in the courtroom. However, it can still be difficult for spouses to work together to come up with a fair way to divide their marital property. There are a number of strategies spouses can use during collaborative divorce. Even in out-of-court divorce, you should be represented by a family law attorney who can advocate for you during the process.
3 Ways to Approach Asset Division
Illinois law states that marital property should be divided in a way that is fair to both spouses. This is the goal in mediation as well. There are many ways to approach the division of marital assets, and you and your spouse should ideally try to agree on a strategy you both feel is fair. Strategies to consider include:
- Equal value - The goal behind this strategy is to give each spouse half the value of the marital estate. Using this strategy, the spouses should establish the value of each piece of marital property. The property is then sorted into two groups of equal total value. This approach may be complicated but ultimately successful for those with a large amount of valuable or complex property, like stock portfolios. It may also work well for any others who can agree to a 50/50 split.
- Contribution-based - If you and your spouse never really combined your finances, this approach may be for you. Using this approach, you and your spouse each keep your own purchases. If you paid for the mattress, you keep the mattress. If your spouse paid for the rug, they keep the rug. However, if you have property you shared the cost of, you will need to adopt another strategy for dividing those.
- Like picking teams - Remember picking teams in gym class, where two captains take turns choosing classmates? This strategy is similar, but you would be choosing items of marital property instead. This method can help those who have a lot of belongings and would like to move quickly.
These are only a few options for dividing marital property. Your attorney can help you find a method that is likely to work for you.
Contact a Wheaton, IL, Divorce Lawyer
Andrew Cores Family Law Group is experienced in working with people going through divorce mediation. Our skilled DuPage County, IL divorce attorneys will strive to guide you and your spouse toward a fair division of property. Contact us at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.