The most litigated part of divorce proceedings is property division and distribution. If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse, you likely worry about what property will remain exclusively yours and what is a marital asset.
In your divorce, Illinois courts will attempt to divide the marital assets and separate property as equitably as possible.
What is separate property?
“Marital property” is all property obtained by a married couple during their marriage and is subject to division. “Separate” or non-marital property is property you acquired before the date of your marriage and any property you obtained after your decree of legal separation. As long as you have clear and convincing evidence it only belongs to you, anything gifted to you after the date of the marriage is also separate property. Property excluded by premarital or postnuptial agreements are non-marital.
In your divorce proceedings, your separate property will remain with you as the sole owner.
When is it not equitable to return everything that belongs to you?
In some divorces, a court will determine that it is not equitable to return everything that belongs to you, even if it is separate property. For example, if your spouse owns two vehicles and you have custody of your children, the court may grant you one of your spouse’s vehicles so you can care for your family.
Courts consider factors such as the duration of your marriage, custodial provisions for minor children, tax consequences of the property division, amount and sources of income and employability when assessing property distribution in your divorce.