How Are Disputes About Property Division Handled in an Illinois Divorce?
Income, real estate, vehicles, and most other assets a spouse acquires during a marriage are included in the marital estate. During an Illinois divorce, the spouses will need to divide this marital property. The asset division process may involve deciding who will keep the marital home, determining how to divide bank account balances and retirement funds, splitting up personal possessions, and more.
Conflict and disagreements during the property division process are common. In this blog, we discuss the basics of property division in Illinois and the options divorcing couples have when resolving property division conflicts.
Negotiated Property Division Settlements
Although many people assume that the court always makes decisions about how to divide property in a divorce, most divorcing couples are able to negotiate a settlement. If the spouses are able to communicate effectively and negotiate in good faith, they may usually work out an arrangement regarding property division.
In most divorce cases, each spouse retains his or her own attorney and the attorneys negotiate property division issues. The attorneys may use discovery tools such as subpoenas or depositions to gather relevant financial information and aid in the negotiation process.
Mediation can also be a tool for spouses who have disagreements about how to divide their shared property. A neutral third-party mediator can facilitate conversation and help the spouses find common ground. However, mediation may be insufficient for cases involving highly complex financial circumstances or significant conflict.
Resolving Property Division Through A Divorce Trial
The last resort for dividing marital property in a divorce is a courtroom trial. Most of the time, divorcing spouses are able to reach a settlement before the case gets to the trial phase. However, it is possible that your divorce could end up at trial, especially if your case involves significant high-value or complex assets.
Illinois law specifies several specific factors the court should consider when deciding how to divide marital property. These factors include but are not limited to:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s financial circumstances, including their assets, income, and earning potential
- Each spouse’s contributions to the acquisition and appreciation of marital property
- Each spouse’s non-financial contributions to the household, such as contributions made as a stay-at-home parent
- Whether there was any dissipation of assets
- Tax implications related to the division of assets
- Any other factors that are relevant to the case
Contact Our DuPage County Property Division Lawyers
If you and your soon-to-be ex are struggling to reach an agreement about property division matters during your divorce, our Wheaton divorce attorneys can help. Call MKFM Law at 630-665-7300 and set up a confidential consultation to learn more about our services.