Going through a divorce involves making a number of complicated decisions, such as determining child custody, alimony and child support. One of the most difficult topics to tackle, however, may be property division.
Many people become attached to property and items accumulated throughout their marriage and may become emotional when forced to split it. Each party is responsible for reporting all marital property in their possession and the court will determine who receives what in the final settlement.
Equitable division of property
Illinois is one of many states in the nation that follows an equitable division of property model when separating marital items. Rather than split property evenly between each party, the court will take into account certain factors before dividing marital property, according to Illinois state statutes. These factors include the following:
- Each party’s contribution to the accumulation of the property
- How long the marriage lasted
- The value of property
- The current economic situation of each party, including job, income and liabilities
- The health, age and skills of each party
- Any tax consequences of property division
The court will also look at where the children reside if any are involved in the case.
There are some assets and property that may stay with the original owner after the divorce. According to the National Law Review, separate property is items owned by a party prior to becoming married, and may also include inheritance money and gifts given by a third party during the marriage. As long as the owner of this property maintains primary ownership and does not mix the assets in with marital property, it can remain solely in their possession.