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

Elgin, Illinois

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How are assets divided when community property laws are absent?

When it comes to the division of property during a divorce, not all states follow the same rules. In states like Illinois, community property laws are not in effect. This means that the court doesn’t split property 50/50 but determines the division of marital property using different criteria.

It is crucial for couples to understand what the absence of community property laws can mean, especially for those seeking a divorce. It can help them determine what to expect in terms of their share of marital property after finalizing the divorce.

Illinois uses the equitable distribution approach

When a married couple acquires property during their marriage, it counts as “marital property.” Only certain states use community property laws to divide marital property; they include Arizona, California, Idaho, and Texas, among others. There, the courts divide all marital property equally between the spouses upon divorce. These properties can consist of assets acquired individually during the marriage.

However, Illinois does not subscribe to community property laws; it uses other factors to determine how to distribute assets between the couple. The courts follow the principle of “equitable distribution.” This means Illinois divides property in a way that the court deems equitable — what is fair and just — rather than splitting it equally down the middle.

Various factors are considered

During the property division process in Illinois, the court considers each spouse’s financial situation, earning capacity and other relevant factors. The goal is to achieve a fair division of property according to the couple’s specific circumstances. When there are disagreements over assets, like an art collection, equitable distribution takes effect. In such a situation, the court considers various factors to decide who gets the pieces of art in a way that is fair to both parties.

The legal complexities of marital property and division can be overwhelming. So, you should consider seeking the assistance of a family law lawyer to guide you in the divorce process. While it may seem challenging, it is indeed possible to secure your fair share of assets and protect your interests during the divorce proceedings.

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