How Is Community Property Determined In Divorce?

There are many challenges when getting a divorce, but one of the more contentious issues is how property is divided. Before the divorce court can end your marriage, it must decide how to divide your assets. Illinois has specific laws governing how property is divided in a divorce that you should know, so keep reading to learn more. If you have questions about your divorce, you should speak to our Skokie divorce lawyers today for legal advice.

What Are Community Property Laws?

In states with a community property law, all assets that either person acquires during the union are assumed to belong to both. This is regardless of whose name is on the property or asset title, how they bought the assets, or which person made the money to make the acquisition. However, there are several exceptions to community property rules to understand. In most cases, these assets are not considered community property:

  • A gift that one spouse made to another.
  • Proceeds that you received from a many personal injury lawsuits.
  • An inheritance from your family in your name.
  • Assets that you had before you were married.

Illinois Is Not A Community Property State

Illinois is not a community property state. Rather, it is an equitable property state, meaning that the judge will divide property based on what they think is fair and equitable. Many things will be considered to make these critical decisions, such as each person’s income, earning ability, and overall contributions when married.

Because Illinois is an equitable division state, it is essential to establish what is and is not marital property. So, the first step with the help of your divorce attorney is to identify all marital property, which includes all assets that either spouse acquired when they were married (with some exceptions, such as above). Once the divorce court has determined what is marital property, the court will consider several things before making property division decisions:

  • What each spouse contributed to the assets being acquired.
  • Whether either person dissipated marital assets before or during the divorce.
  • The value of the non-marital property of each person.
  • How long you were married.
  • The financial situation of each person.
  • Any financial obligations either have from previous marriages.
  • Each person’s health and age.
  • Who will take care of the children, if any.
  • Each person’s ability to obtain capital in the future.

Who Gets The House In The Divorce?

The court will decide about the primary residence based on the abovementioned factors. However, for many parties, the family home is the most valuable piece of property. Equity in a house cannot be divided without selling the asset, so the court’s options in this regard can be limited.

There is a potential solution if either party has the assets to buy out the other party. For instance, if you receive the family home, the other party could receive retirement account funds, cars, or other real estate. Or, you can decide to sell the home and split the proceeds.

Speak To Our Skokie Divorce Lawyer Today

Dividing marital property during an Illinois divorce is complicated, and it is essential to identify the non-marital property to have the best resolution to your case. Please contact our Skokie divorce lawyer at Gordon & Perlut, LLC today at (312) 360-0250 for legal assistance.