In some states, any property obtained after becoming married is considered “community property”, regardless of which person in the marriage bought it. Illinois, however, is not a state that recognizes community property. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can keep all of your property after a divorce.
FindLaw takes a look at the marital property laws in Illinois, which determine how your marital assets and property will be divided. Of course, if you have a prenuptial agreement in place, then the courts will abide by that. But what if you don’t? Instead, the courts will attempt to distribute all marital property in a way that is equitable. Equitable, in this case, means the division will be fair, but not necessarily equal.
Under these laws, marital property is anything that you and your spouse acquired together between the time your marriage began and the time of its dissolution. In order to determine an equitable division, the court may look at things like:
- Custodial provisions for your children
- Duration of your marriage
- Any obligations from a previous marriage
- Tax consequences and how that may affect you financially
- The source of income of you and your ex-spouse
- Vocational skills, employability, and current occupation
In other words, many factors can go into determining how to make property division equitable. For that reason, it can be difficult or nearly impossible for an attorney to give a general estimate of how your property will be divided without taking a closer look at your unique circumstances.