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Illinois Property Division Factors

In Illinois, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the Circuit Court within the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.

Illinois is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the Circuit Court will take the following approach to dividing the assets; First, it will go through a discovery process to classify which property and debt is to be considered marital. Next, it will assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt. Last, it will distribute the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is deemed by the Circuit Court to be fair.

Upon the termination of any marriage, the court shall divide the marital property without regard to marital misconduct in just proportions considering all relevant factors, including: (A) the contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservation, or increase or decrease in value of the marital or non-marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or to the family unit; (B) the dissipation by each party of the marital or non-marital property; (C) the value of the property assigned to each spouse; (D) the duration of the marriage; (E) the relevant economic circumstances of each spouse when the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home, or the right to live therein for reasonable periods, to the spouse having custody of the children; (F) any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either party; (G) any antenuptial agreement of the parties; (H) the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties; (I) the custodial provisions for any children; (J) whether the apportionment is in lieu of or in addition to maintenance; (K) the reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income; and (L) the tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties. (750 Illinois Compiled Statutes - Chapter 5 - Sections: 503)