Property division is one of the most complex issues involved in a divorce case. In Illinois property may be considered to be “marital property”, “non-marital property”, or their may be a duty to reimburse the “marital estate” where one party uses marital funds to enhance the other’s non-marital property. In some cases, property that one spouse thought was their non-marital property may actually be marital property as the result of commingling. In many divorce cases, there is an issue of missing or misappropriated marital property. Additionally, many divorce cases involve “dissipation”, where one spouse has spent considerable sums of money for things that have no relation to the marriage. The determination as to whether property is either marital or non-marital, the value of closely held or family owned businesses can be complex and difficult. While Illinois is considered an equitable distribution state, not all property settlements in a divorce case are determined on an equal or 50-50 basis. There are a myriad of factors that the Court will assess in determining property settlement which include the following: the contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservation, or increase in the value of the marital or non-marital property; the dissipation by each party of the marital or non-marital property; the value of the property assigned to each spouse; the duration of the marriage; the relevant economic circumstances of each spouse when the division of property is to become effective; any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either party; any antenuptial agreement of the parties; the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties; the custodial provisions for any children; whether the apportionment is in lieu of or in addition to maintenance; the reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income; and the tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties.
While the identification of certain assets as non-marital property may be easy to determine in some instances, many significant holdings, such as real estate or investments, may not be so clear. At HRK, we work closely with our clients to help them determine the value of the marital estate, the location of property that may be hidden, and to develop a plan for an equitable distribution of the marital property. To receive your fair share of the marital property, it is imperative that you hire an attorney who fully understands the law and who has helped others in circumstances just like yours. We work with clients to ensure that they receive a fair share of the marital estate regardless of whether the division is determined by agreement of the parties or pursuant to a trial. Please contact HRK to arrange for a consultation and let us explain how we can assist you.