Choosing to get a divorce can be an overwhelming decision, no matter who initiates the process. The reality is that most married couples hope that their marriage will stand the tests of time. And even when divorce seems necessary, appropriate, and imminent, there is still nothing particularly easy about it.
While the dissolution of a marriage, the legal term for divorce used in the State of Illinois, is emotionally challenging, it has great potential to be financially devastating as well. That is why it is critical for those facing divorce to possess at least some knowledge and understanding of divorce law, including the restrictions and allowances in Illinois. Schaumburg divorce attorneys are particularly adept when it comes to being familiar, not only when it comes to being familiar with the laws of the state of Illinois, but also when it comes to being knowledgeable about the procedures in the Cook County family courts.
Divorce and Distribution of Assets in Illinois
Nine out of 50 states divide the assets of a divorcing couple 50/50. That means that assets that may be split evenly between parties, no matter who initially brought them into the marriage. In cases of divorce, assets can include property, inheritances, cash, gifts, pensions, and certain military benefits. That said, the property that is most often split in a divorce is that which was acquired after the couple married.
Illinois is one of the 41 states that does not subscribe to the laws of community property, in which assets, as described above, are divided 50/50. In fact, divorces in Illinois adhere to the laws of equitable distribution, in which assets are divided fairly, based on a judge’s determination.
Asset Protection and Division in Schaumburg, Illinois
The best way to protect your assets before divorce is even up for discussion, is by signing a prenuptial agreement, or prenup, before your wedding. In the case of divorce, a prenup allows both marriage partners to retain whatever assets they had prior to the wedding. In the absence of this document, a couple’s belongings are distributed evenly, but not necessarily or objectively, fairly.
Not everything is fair in love and war, and nothing exemplifies this disparity like a divorce in a state that adheres to the laws of equitable distribution. In the absence of a prenup, the court will determine who is most deserving of the items procured during the marriage. Factors that may influence the court’s decision range from each spouse’s financial solvency to whether or not the dissolution of the marriage is due to an adulterous encounter. In short, the process is highly subjective and not always fair.
In addition to the decision of who gets what being up to the court system, it is important to note that each spouse is legally allowed to lay claim to the total value of assets earned or received during the marriage, thus complicating the process further.
The Best Ways to Protect Yourself against the Pitfalls of Equitable Distribution
As marriage is an emotional issue, so too is divorce. The laws regulating divorce in the State of Illinois, particularly as they relate to the division of assets, can make a difficult situation that much harder to handle.
In order to brace for the fallout that is likely to take place during a divorce in Illinois, it is wise to take heed of the following suggestions.
- Put your personal finances in order as soon as possible before you divorce, so you know exactly what you have.
- Evaluate resources regularly so you can budget court costs and legal fees
- Secure a legal team who is knowledgeable in Illinois divorce law and has a proven success rate.
No one gets married in the hopes of getting divorced. That is why protecting yourself and securing solid legal counsel before things become unmanageable, is so very important.
This content is sponsored by Khalid Irfan.