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Property Division in Divorce

Hawkins Law Office, P.C.
Division of Property display next to gavel on wooden table

Property division is among the vital divorce issues that must be decided before the marital dissolution can be finalized. Couples who are unable to distribute their assets, property, debts, and liability may seek help through the family court system. Hence, when property division is contested, the Illinois court would divide the couple's marital assets equitably between both parties. It is vital to speak with an Illinois family law attorney who can inform you about how property division works in a divorce. 

At Hawkins Law Office, P.C., we provide comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy to clients in divorce and asset division-related matters. Our skilled attorney is available to discuss your unique situation, help you understand the asset division process, and work diligently to protect what is rightfully yours. We're proud to serve clients across Edwardsville, Carlinville, Greenville, Jerseyville, Hillsboro, Vandalia, and Belleville, Illinois. 

Marital Property vs. Separate Property in Illinois  

In a typical Illinois divorce, the couple's assets will be classified into marital property and separate property. 

Marital Property 

Marital property or community property comprises all assets accumulated and debts incurred by both spouses during their marriage. This includes the marital home, vehicles, income, furniture pieces, retirement accounts, bank accounts, credit card charges, rents, pension plans, 401k accounts, stocks, royalties, and every other asset acquired during the couple's marriage. 

Separate Property 

Conversely, separate property or non-marital property includes any property owned or debts accumulated by only one party prior to the marriage. In addition, marital property includes compensation received through an injury claim, income on separate property, and gifts or inheritance received by one spouse during the marriage. 

Who Determines How Assets are Divided?  

Furthermore, property division may either be uncontested or contested.  

Uncontested Property Division 

In an uncontested property division, both spouses mutually agree on how their marital property will be divided. Once all the property division terms have been agreed upon, the details will be accurately documented in the marital dissolution agreement. The agreed-upon terms will be filed with the Illinois court for official approval. A reliable divorce attorney can help protect your rights and keep the conversation productive and on track. 

Contested Property Division 

Conversely, in a contested asset division, the couples are unable to agree on one or more key provisions of how to distribute their marital property. The Illinois court would intervene and issue a final verdict during a hearing. A seasoned lawyer can present your case intelligently in court and enhance your prospects of achieving the most favorable outcome in your asset division case. 

What is Considered in Asset Division Illinois 

Additionally, Illinois is an "equitable distribution" state. This means that the couple's marital property must be distributed equitably and justly between the spouses, but not necessarily equally. In order to achieve equitable property distribution, the court will take the following factors into consideration: 

  • The length or duration of the marital union. 

  • Each spouse's physical and mental health, age, and station in life 

  • The impact of any prenuptial agreements 

  • Any existing custody arrangements for their children. 

  • The desire to award the family home to the spouse with physical custody of their children. 

  • The value of property and assets assigned to each spouse 

  • The occupation, employability, and vocational skills of each spouse. 

  • Whether one party is receiving alimony (spousal maintenance). 

  • The debts, liabilities, and financial needs of each party. 

  • Any opportunity for future acquisition of income and assets by each spouse. 

  • The financial obligations or responsibilities available to either spouse from a previous relationship or marriage (such as providing child support for other children). 

  • The economic or financial situation of each spouse 

  • The contributions of each spouse to the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation of the marital property, including the contributions as a homemaker. 

  • The contributions of each spouse to the decrease in value or waste of separate or marital property. 

  • The money and time needed to continue raising their children. 

  • The tax consequences of the assets or property division. 

  • Any other factor deemed necessary by the court to achieve equitable distribution. 

A loyal Illinois property division attorney can guide you through the asset division process and help you navigate crucial decisions. 

How a Practiced Family Law Attorney Can Help 

Dividing marital assets in an Illinois divorce usually involves several complex procedures. Differentiating between separate and marital property, finding hidden income and assets, and negotiating a settlement agreement with your soon-to-be ex-partner can make the entire process more stressful and overwhelming. Therefore, consulting with a practiced family law attorney is imperative for clear guidance and to protect your best interests. 

At Hawkins Law Office, P.C., our attorney is poised and ready to advise and direct individuals and couples through the complexities of property division in a divorce. Also, we can analyze your case and walk you through the complex legal proceedings involved in addressing asset division. In addition, our attorney will work diligently with both parties and help resolve property division issues peacefully and quickly. 

Contact Hawkins Law Office, P.C. today for a consultation with a reliable property division lawyer. We have the resources to give you the personalized legal counsel and brilliant advocacy you need in your asset division matters. We're proud to serve clients across Edwardsville, Carlinville, Greenville, Jerseyville, Hillsboro, Vandalia, and Belleville, Illinois.