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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

9405 Bormet Drive, Suite 7, Mokena, IL 60448

Mokena | 815-727-6144

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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Mokena divorce QDRO lawyer

Property division can be one of the most contentious portions of your divorce. Even after just a few years of marriage, you and your spouse have probably commingled some of your separate property and acquired quite a bit of marital property. In Illinois, marital property is defined as any assets or debts that you or your spouse acquired during the marriage. All marital property must be divided before you can finalize your divorce -- including your retirement accounts. These can have both marital and non-marital characteristics, which is why they can be so difficult to deal with. Certain types of retirement accounts require certain procedures in order to divide them in accordance with the law. A knowledgeable asset division attorney can help you determine what kind of steps you must take to divide this valuable marital property.

Is Your Retirement Account Marital or Nonmarital Property?

As a general rule of thumb, any retirement accounts that either spouse acquired or participated in during their marriage are presumed to be marital property. These may include pension benefits, defined contribution plans and accounts, individual retirement accounts, and non-qualified plans. If you believe that your retirement account or pension should not be considered marital property, you must prove to the court that your retirement benefits were acquired through a method that would deem them to be nonmarital property, such as through gift or legacy. In addition, your retirement benefits could be specifically excluded from the marital estate through a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

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Elmhurst, IL property division lawyerFor many people, getting a divorce is the hardest and most stressful thing they will do in their life. Divorce involves legally separating yourself from the person you have been with for years. Not only do you have to deal with the legality of a divorce, but you also have to deal with the emotional ramifications. When it comes to property division during a divorce, both the legal and emotional aspects are involved. Much of the property that is divided in a divorce has both sentimental and monetary value, which is why property division can be so contentious. If you are getting a divorce, it is important that you understand Illinois law affects the way property is divided.

Marital or Non-Marital Property?

Before any property division can occur, you must first know what property is actually subject to being divided. In Illinois, all marital property is subject to division, whereas non-marital property is not. Marital property includes any and all property or debts that were acquired by either spouse after they were married and before they separated. A few exceptions to this rule exist, and depending on the circumstances, some assets may be considered to be non-marital property. Examples of non-marital property include:

  • Anything acquired by gift, legacy, or descent, as well as property that was acquired in exchange for this type of property;
  • Anything that was acquired in exchange for property that was acquired prior to the marriage;
  • Property acquired by either spouse after they were legally separated; and
  • Property that is specifically excluded from the marital estate, as stated by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Factors Used for Consideration

It is always better to come to an agreement about property division with your spouse rather than relying on someone else to do it. In some cases, settling this issue fairly without legal intervention is impossible. If a judge has to make decisions on how the marital property will be divided, he or she will look at a variety of factors, including:

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Orland Park asset division attorneyGetting a divorce is a major change in your life. When you are married, almost every aspect of your life -- bank accounts, credit cards, living arrangements, mortgages, and even personal belongings -- becomes intertwined with your spouse’s. Though this can make life simple during your marriage, it can end up making things difficult when you decide to get a divorce. 

Factors for Consideration During Asset Division

Before the judge will begin dividing marital property, he or she will first make determinations about what is and is not subject to division. Only marital property is subject to division in Illinois divorces. Marital property includes any assets or debts that were acquired after a couple was married. When dividing marital property, the judge will consider the following factors:

  • Each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition and/or increase/decrease in value of marital property
  • Whether either party dissipated marital assets
  • Whether or not either spouse contributed to the household as a homemaker
  • The value of the assets assigned to each spouse
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse
  • Any obligations that either spouse has from a prior marriage
  • Any valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreements in place
  • The age, health, occupation, sources of income, employability, vocational skills, and needs of each spouse
  • The parenting arrangements for the couple’s children, if applicable
  • The opportunity for each spouse to acquire future assets or income
  • The tax consequences of the asset division for each spouse

Get in Touch With a Will County Asset Division Attorney

In your divorce case, the judge must resolve all the issues in your case for the case to be resolved. Dividing up your assets and debts is just one of many issues you must handle. At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we can help you come up with a property division agreement that you and your spouse both agree on. Our skilled New Lenox, IL property division lawyers will advocate for your best interests in all matters during your divorce. Call our office today at 815-458-5660 to schedule a free consultation.

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