Generations Of EXPERIENCE A Heritage Of Helping

How are assets divided in an Illinois divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce proceedings involve the dissolution of not only emotional ties but also financial assets. In Illinois, the division of assets follows specific guidelines that are set by the state.

By knowing some of the terms and guidelines associated with asset division, individuals can navigate through the process more effectively.

Identification of marital property

Marital property encompasses assets acquired during the marriage, excluding gifts or inheritances. Both spouses have a claim to marital property, regardless of whose name is on the title.

Equitable distribution

Illinois applies the principle of equitable distribution, which means it divides assets fairly but not necessarily equally. The court considers various factors, such as the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s contributions, and the economic circumstances of each party.

Valuation of assets

Prior to division, individuals must accurately value assets. This includes real estate, vehicles, investments, retirement accounts and personal property. Valuation may require appraisals or financial assessments.

Debt allocation

Debts incurred during the marriage are also subject to division. Both spouses may be responsible for shared debts, regardless of whose name the debt is under.

Non-marital property

Non-marital property typically includes assets acquired before the marriage or through gifts or inheritances intended for one spouse. However, the commingling of non-marital assets with marital assets may complicate their classification.

Pre- and post-nuptial agreements

Pre- and post-nuptial agreements, if deemed valid and enforceable by the court, can significantly influence asset division by specifying how assets will get distributed in the event of a divorce. These agreements allow couples to predetermine asset allocation according to their preferences, potentially simplifying the division process and reducing conflict.


Understanding asset division helps individuals to make informed decisions as they go through the challenges of getting a divorce.