Lawyers Seeking Favorable Property Division in Springfield, Illinois
Attorneys taking on complicated property division matters in the Bloomington/Normal area
Illinois requires equitable distribution of a marital estate upon divorce. “Equitable” is not synonymous with “equal,” and there are a number of factors a court may consider when dividing property. It is your attorney’s responsibility to present the law and the facts in a compelling way to ensure that the marital property is fairly divided.
At James R. Potter, P.C., our attorneys understand that a proper marital property division begins long before the trial, and even long before discovery. We believe that you should have a plan, and then work your plan. Everything the attorneys at James R. Potter, P.C. do for your case is accomplished pursuant to the plan. In that way, we have a much greater chance of obtaining positive results at a reasonable cost.
The meaning of marital property in Illinois
Simply put, marital property is all property either party acquired during the marriage, except for such property that was obtained by gift or after a judgment of legal separation. Property owned by one spouse prior to the marriage is not usually marital property. Likewise, gifts to one spouse during the marriage are considered separate property, and the interest earned on such gifts, if any, remains separate property as well.
Retirement accounts and pensions are generally considered marital assets to the extent the retirement account or pension accrued during the marriage. For instance, if a spouse worked for an employer for 10 years prior to the marriage and another 20 years during the marriage, the spouse would have a total of 30 years for retirement or pension purposes, but only two-thirds accrued during the marriage. Thus, only two-thirds of the retirement or pension benefits would be divisible as a marital asset.
Debts are another facet of an equitable property division, and apportionment of marital debt is a factor courts consider when deciding how to divide marital property. Debts incurred during a marriage are marital debts and are almost always divisible. Premarital debts of one spouse may also be divided in a divorce if the other spouse elected to enter into the marriage with knowledge of the debt. Debts incurred by one spouse after a legal separation are generally not considered marital debt, even though the parties are still technically married during a legal separation period.
Factors judges consider when deciding how to divide marital property in central Illinois
As soon as the divorce is filed, Section 750.503 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes places an automatic stay on the marital estate. Both parties are allowed to pay their bills and spend money on attorney fees, but almost all other expenditures must be put on hold until the divorce is finalized.
In making a property division, the judge may consider a number of factors. No one factor is given more weight than any other factor, but those that James R. Potter, P.C. attorneys see used most often are:
Marital property that may be divided in your Illinois divorce
“Property” is typically any tangible item, including cash, cars, houses and household goods. Other marital assets, such as stock options and rental agreements, are intangible property.
The property division also includes debts. A typical arrangement is that a party awarded a secured item, such as a house or a car, is also responsible for payments on the debt. Unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical bills, are usually divided in an equitable manner.
Retain tough attorneys in Springfield who are highly experienced in family law
The lawyers at James R. Potter, P.C. have many years of experience in areas of practice that matter to you, such as Illinois family law. Contact James R. Potter, P.C. at 217-806-0323 or online to schedule your free consultation.