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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

707 N. York Street, Suite 201, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Elmhurst | 630-528-0734

Mokena | 815-458-5660   Oak Park | 708-480-9651

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Elmhurst, IL Property Division Attorneys

Oak Brook Property Division Attorneys

Lawyers in DuPage County for Dividing Marital Property in Divorce

At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we assist clients in DuPage County, Kane County, and the surrounding areas with all aspects of the divorce process, including the division of marital assets and debts. We understand the importance of accounting for all of a couple's assets and obligations and determining an appropriate value for each asset or debt. Our knowledgeable attorneys are fully up to date on the laws that govern the division of marital property in Illinois, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you.

What Is Marital Property in Illinois?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) contains the guidelines that address property division in an Illinois divorce. A divorcing couple has the right to reach an agreement regarding their marital and non-marital property, but when the matter is left to the court, only marital property can be divided. According to the law, marital property includes any assets or debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage, with limited exceptions for gifts and inheritances to one spouse. Any property acquired before the marriage began is generally not considered to be marital property.

Equitable Distribution of Assets in Oak Brook

Before marital property can be divided, the value of each asset or debt must be determined. Establishing a value is straightforward for some assets, like cash savings or a vehicle. For other assets, however, setting the value is more difficult. Retirement accounts or pensions, for example, are often complicated by pre-marital contributions, tax laws and timing. Determining a value for such assets for the purposes of a divorce may require a financial professional with experience in these types of cases. At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we work closely with a variety of experts, including financial professionals, whose insight and knowledge can help get you the favorable outcome you deserve.

Once the marital estate has been identified and evaluated, it must be divided between the spouses. Contrary to popular belief, the law in Illinois does not guarantee each spouse an equal share of the marital property. Instead, marital property must be divided in a manner that is equitable based on the couple's circumstances. In deciding how much to give each spouse, the court must consider many factors including:

  • The contributions made by each spouse to the marital estate, including those of a spouse who stayed at home to raise children or keep the house;
  • Any allegations of wasteful spending—called dissipation—by either party;
  • Each spouse's age, occupation, health, and earning ability;
  • Each spouse's current and predicted financial situation;
  • Arrangements being made for the couple's children;
  • Existing obligations for maintenance or child support;
  • Obligations of spousal maintenance arising from the same divorce matter;
  • The tax implications of dividing the property; and
  • Any other factor deemed to be relevant by the court.

It is important to keep in mind that the law does not give the court guidance regarding how to divide marital property, other than to require the court to divide the marital property and debt "in just proportions". This means that if you are the primary wage-earner, the best you can hope for is 50/50, and if you are the secondary, lower wage-earner the least you should aim for is 50/50.

With more than 95 years of combined family law experience, the attorneys at Wakenight & Associates, P.C. are prepared to help you reach an agreement that protects your rights and gives you the resources you need to build the happier future you deserve. If an amicable negotiation is not possible, however, we are prepared to litigate on your behalf in the courtroom as well.

Call 630-528-0734 Today

If you are considering a divorce and have questions about how your property will be divided, contact our office. Call 630-528-0734 to schedule a free consultation today. Our firm serves clients in Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Lombard, La Grange, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Wood Dale, Western Springs, DuPage County, Kane County, and the surrounding areas.

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