There are two types of property in a divorce: marital and non-marital. Marital property is property acquired during a marriage with funds earned during the marriage. Non-marital property is property owned before a marriage or received as a gift during a marriage. Inheritances are non-marital property. A home purchased during a marriage with income made during the marriage is marital property. Upon divorce, all non-marital property goes to the spouse who owns it. All marital property is divided between the spouses.
Illinois is an equitable distribution state, nota community property state. In a community property state such as California, all marital property is divided 50/50. This makes the process of dividing wealth formulaic and cut-and-dried. However, in Illinois and other equitable distribution states, property is divided based upon a determination of fairness. This process is very subjective and can lead to one spouse getting more of the marital property than the other spouse.
When dividing marital property in Illinois, courts look at all relevant factors, including, the financial needs of each spouse, future earning ability of each spouse, and the age of each spouse. Courts also consider whether one spouse was a homemaker, thus foregoing a career to raise children so the other spouse could focus on his/her career. For example, if one spouse makes a lot of money and the other spouse was the homemaker and does not have a job, the judge could give the homemaker more of the marital wealth because the spouse who makes the money will be able to make money in the future and recoup the difference.
In Illinois divorce, distributing wealth is more art than science. Having a knowledgeable, creative, and persuasive divorce attorney can make a huge difference in contested wealth division cases. Since judges have great discretion when it comes to dividing marital property, it is important for a divorce attorney practicing in Cook and DuPage Countyto have experience working with the judges on the bench there. The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been practicing family law for nearly 50 years in DuPage and Cook County. Please contact one of our attorneys at (630)573-8585 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation.
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The Botti Law Firm, P.C., conveniently located in Oak Brook and Wheaton, is a full service law firm that offers comprehensive legal representation to individuals, families, businesses and professionals from the Chicago area, including Cook, Kane, DuPage, Lake, Will and Kendall Counties, to the rest of the United States. Our experienced trial attorneys are dedicated to obtaining successful results for our clients, in both state and federal courts.
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Contact the Botti Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about our different practice areas and how we can best address your legal concerns. Call (630) 573-8585 to speak with one of our attorneys.