Is Illinois a Marital Property State

One common issue of contention in divorce is the division of property. However, your state laws have something to say about the way you divide property in divorce. Some states divide property on a 50/50 basis. However, divorce law in Illinois relies on equitable distribution.

What is a Marital Property State?

A marital property state refers to a state that uses community property, or an even split to divide property in a divorce. If one individual in the marriage obtained the property during the marriage, then it is marital property. The only exception is for couples who get prenups before they marry.

Non-marital property states divide property in a different manner. Typically, they rely on equitable distribution. Before they divide up the property, they consider a variety of factors. After analyzing the situation, they come up with an “equitable” agreement. Each state handles equitable division in a different manner.

There are currently there are nine marital property states. However, Illinois is not one of them.

Understanding Property Division in Divorce

In general, property division can be quite complex. There are three basic types of property. First, there’s marital property that the couple obtained after marriage. Then, there’s the property one spouse obtained before the marriage. Lastly, there’s the property that the other spouse obtained prior to marrying.

In Illinois, the equitable distribution of property means that the property is split in a fair way. Although it might not be 50/50, the division will be in a way that the court deems fair.

How the Court Decides

When it comes to a fair division of property, the court considers several key details. Here are a few factors the court will consider before dividing up property:

  1. The finances and potential finances of each spouse

One of the key factors the court considers is how much money each spouse earned. Was one the primary breadwinner? Was one spouse limited in earning potential?

  1. The value of separate property

As the court considers division, they look into the total value of each spouse’s property. For example, they consider retirement plans, stocks, bonds, and other valuable assets.

  1. How each partner contributed to the purchase of joint property

When one partner contributes more to the purchase of a marital property, the court will take that into consideration.

  1. The contribution made to the other spouse’s income or education

Sometimes, one spouse takes a hit to their income so the other one can make more money. Similarly, one spouse can contribute to the other’s education to increase their potential income. In either scenario, the court could base their decision on this information.

  1. The future financial needs of each individual

Will one partner be more financially than the other? Is one partner limited to making a certain income? If so, this could affect the division of property.

Getting What You Deserve

If you live in a non-marital property state like Illinois, you need to stand up for yourself. Unless you and your partner can agree on a fair division of property, the choice is left to the court. When you work with a divorce attorney in Schaumburg, you improve your chances at a good outcome.

There are many mistakes you can make during the divorce process. By working with a reputable divorce lawyer in Schaumburg, IL, you can get what you deserve.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.