When two people in Illinois get married, their assets are usually combined to create a comprehensive marital estate. Typically, any items that the two individuals acquire are considered joint property. When divorce occurs, these assets must be divided, and this can be tricky both financially and emotionally. Here is a look at how asset division is handled in the state and how divorcing couples can navigate it successfully.
Illinois follows equitable distribution
Illinois is an equitable distribution state. This means that the assets that two divorcing spouses own are split fairly either by agreement or at the discretion of a family court judge. These assets may range from real estate to retirement accounts, investments, furniture and cars.
With this approach, a judge may decide to split assets down the middle. However, in some cases, one spouse may receive 30 percent of the marital assets and the other one might receive 70 percent, depending on their financial circumstances. The judge will consider each party’s earning potential, income, personal assets and financial needs when determining how best to divide their assets.
How legal support can help
An experienced Illinois family law attorney can help a divorcing individual to pursue his or her fair share of assets during the property division process. One’s attorney will push for a fair and comprehensive settlement outside of court, and if this is not possible, he or she will be prepared to litigate the matter. Either way, one of a savvy attorney’s primary goals will be to protect his or her client’s financial best interests and rights during each stage of the divorce proceeding.