When preparing for a divorce, understanding some of the primary court procedures and actions may prove beneficial. In Illinois, one of the most hotly debated topics during the legal uncoupling process is who gets what.
If a couple cannot agree on how to divide assets and debts, a judge may have to step in and intervene. Find out what the law says about splitting property and some of the factors a judge may consider when forced to rule on it.
Become familiar with equitable distribution
You may have heard of the term “community property” when it comes to divorce. You may believe that it is the prevailing way a court will divide things between spouses who do not agree. However, it is far more common for a state to adhere to the equitable distribution principle. Illinois is one of these states.
When a couple divorces, a court will decide how to split the assets and debts the couple accumulated during their marriage fairly. Splitting everything on a 50/50 basis may cause harm to one or both spouses.
Understand what carries weight
There are several things that the court will examine when deciding which spouse comes away with what financially. First, the judge considers all of the marital assets. These include things such as property and cash that the couple accumulated while married.
Next, the judge will consider what each spouse did for the marriage. This is where issues such as financial and emotional support come into play. A parent who stayed home to raise children may get more in the emotional support column, while the parent who earned the income will get more weight in the financial column. Doing things this way does not give an unfair advantage to the spouse who made more money.
It is usually better if you can reach an agreement on all issues without court intervention. Working towards this goal enables you to maintain some control over the process.