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Property division in an Illinois divorce

Who gets what is a common point of contention when an Illinois couple decides to divorce. Often, the couple is unable to agree upon the property division aspects of the divorce agreement. Each individual may want the same item or may believe that he or she is entitled to receive a specific portion of the marital property.

Throughout the property division process, it is important to remember that Illinois is an equitable distribution state. This means that marital property will be divided equitably between the parties. The court will base this decision upon various factors and formulas; equitable does not necessarily mean that each party will receive an equal share.

As a part of the process, all marital assets will need to be identified and valued; some assets, such as the home and bank account, will be fairly easy to gather information on. However, other assets may prove to be more difficult to value. For example, a retirement account's value can be greatly influenced by when and how funds are withdrawn. Additionally, jewelry, furs and furniture will be more difficult to determine a fair market value. It may be worthwhile to hire an appraiser who specializes in these types of assets.

Almost all divorcing Illinois couples will have some assets that will need to be divided. If the parties are able to agree upon their property division prior to their day in court, it is possible to make the process easier on all involved. However, when the parties are unable to agree or it appears that the agreement is not equitable, it may be time to let the court intervene.

Source: family.findlaw.com, "Checklist: Dividing Marital Property", Accessed on Nov. 5, 2017

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