Ryan Family Law, P.C.
Ryan Family Law, P.C.

Elgin, Illinois

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Can my spouse and I create our own property settlement in our divorce?

Spouses do have the right to work on property division matters together to reach a fair settlement. Most judges in Elgin, Illinois, encourage this approach to keep courts from getting bogged down. 

However, planning to work it out yourselves is easier said than done in most cases. Many couples begin dividing property amicably, but such negotiations may escalate into conflict and arguments. Remember that your property division plan is subject to approval by a family court judge to ensure that both spouses receive a fair share of marital property.

Tips for dividing your marital property out of court

Illinois follows the equitable distribution model during property division. In simple terms, this means the marital property split must ensure each spouse receives a fair portion even though it might not result in an equal 50/50 split. Below, we have listed several tips to help you and your spouse present the court with an equitable property division plan:

  • Each spouse should be candid about their current and post-divorce financial needs.
  • The higher-earning spouse should be prepared to give up more than the other spouse.
  • Each spouse should make a list of assets or personal items they want to keep.
  • Using these lists, spouses can begin negotiating over these items.
  • Be prepared to give up some things you love, especially if you want the same consideration from your spouse.
  • Remember to create a property division plan that accounts for each spouse’s current finances and future earning capacity.
  • Consider having an advocate to turn to when you need suggestions or guidance.

If your property division plan is fair to both parties, there exists a good chance that a judge will approve the settlement. If he or she feels your property plan needs modifications, you will likely still have a much easier time with this often-challenging portion of the divorce. 

We also urge you to learn more about Illinois divorce and property division to continue protecting your marital property rights.

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