How does Illinois define marital property in a divorce?

The state of Illinois has specific guidelines concerning the division of marital property during a divorce. The court will generally accept to the terms of property division when both parties have been able to come to an agreement. However, the courts can also reject a property settlement if the judge feel the settlement request is unreasonable.

Illinois is considered an equitable distribution state, which means that the Circuit Court can decide what is fair concerning property division during a divorce. Equitable in this situation does not always mean a person is owed an equal half of the property acquired during a marriage. The Illinois court system works with dual classification, which separates marital property from non-marital property. The courts also do not consider marital misconduct when determining what is fair concerning the division of homes, bank accounts and other assets.

Couples in the Chicago area who are going through a divorce should work with an experienced family law attorney to understand how the state of Illinois determines the division of marital property. This process involves a number of considerations. The Circuit Court will look at the duration of the marriage, the value of any property that is assigned to each individual spouse, any prenuptial agreements that are in place, and several other factors.

Due to the complex nature of property division, it is important for divorcing individuals to understand their legal options. Due to the complexity of categorizing certain kinds of property, along with the emotions attached to that process, property division can easily become contentious. But a legal professional can help the parties keep a cool head and come to an agreeable settlement that looks toward a brighter future.

Source:, “Illinois property division,” September 2012

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How does Illinois define marital property in a divorce?