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Illinois property division 101

A recent blog post discussed the difficulties faced by people when it comes to dividing assets at the end of a marriage and how it is important for people to have a clear understanding of what their assets and debts are. However, people in Illinois should also understand how property division works to avoid any unnecessary complications from arising during the divorce process.

Illinois is one of 41 states in the country that uses equitable distribution when it comes to property division, according to Forbes. In equitable distribution, the division of property can be influenced by several factors:

  • The health, well-being and age of both spouses
  • How long the couple was married
  • The perspective finances of both parties following divorce
  • Any and all concerns relating to the care of children in the family
  • Education and earning potential of spouses

Many other considerations can also play a role in how the value of property is evaluated and ultimately divided in divorce. For instance, the nature and possible appreciation or depreciation of value may be factored in, and assets will be identified to determine whether they are considered separate or marital property.

Marital property is defined as any and all assets and incomes accumulated during the course of the marriage. Marital property can include among other things: bank accounts, real estate property, tax refunds and 401(k)s. The title and/or individual ownership of assets does not necessarily prohibit them from being considered marital property.

Separate property can include everything from gifts given to a spouse by another person to property that they owned before they got married. There are instances where separate property can become marital property, however, so it’s important to not assume the value or status of assets in divorce. For example, if a person adds the other spouse’s name to the deed of a separate property or places a monetary inheritance in a joint bank account, that property may become marital property.

People who are going through a divorce should take the time to understand how equitable division works and how it can affect their future.

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