One of the biggest concerns someone faces when they decide to divorce is how they will divide their property and assets with their spouse. If you’ve been married and have a home, how are you going to split that with your spouse? Or your country club membership? Will your spouse automatically receive half your investments or half your inheritance?
Equitable property division
Illinois is an equitable property division state for divorcing couples. With equitable property division, divorcing couples split their assets in a fair, equitable manner. Often that means couples don’t split their assets 50-50.
The first step in dividing your assets will be to determine what assets are marital property – property you acquired during your marriage. You will need to gather the following to account for your marital assets:
- Your tax returns
- Your bank account balances
- Your mortgage information
- Your life and health insurance policy information
- Your investment account statements
- Your retirement savings statements
- Your vehicle information
- Any inheritance information or information on individual gifts
- A list of your valuables, including memberships, furniture, collections, sporting goods and household items
You also will split any debts you and your spouse have in joint credit accounts, in medical expenses or for your mortgage if you both own your home.
Specific factors will help decide what your equitable property distribution will be. Those include:
- How long you have been married
- You and your spouse’s age and health
- You and your spouse’s income during your marriage
- You and your spouse’s earning potential
- You and your spouse’s contributions to the marriage and your marital assets
Advocating for specific assets
You will want to work with an experienced attorney when negotiating dividing property with your spouse in divorce. You may want to keep the marital home and buy out your spouse with your share of your investment savings or through refinancing. You and your spouse may decide to sell your home and split the proceeds.
By working with your divorce attorney, you can ensure you understand your divorce settlement completely and you won’t face surprises when splitting property with your ex.