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What are common Illinois property division questions?

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Illinoisans getting a divorce have a lot of issues to sort out. A key issue, especially for older Illinoisans, is how to divide the marital assets. How much should one spouse get, and how much should the other?

The easiest way to handle property division is between the splitting spouses. But there is a reason the couple is calling it quits. Generally, part of the reason is because they can no longer work together towards a mutually beneficial goal.

When that ship has sailed, the property division process defaults to the court system. How the court system will handle it depends on the rules imposed on them. Those rules come in two major variations, known as community property and equitable division.

In states applying community property rules, marital property is typically split down the middle. But, separate property stays with the respective spouse who owns the property.

In states using equitable division rules, the courts strive towards fairness. Fairness could mean divvying up the property 50/50, 60/40 or even 66/33, depending on the couple's particular circumstances.

Which type of state is Illinois? Equitable division. In other words, Illinois courts catalogue all the couples' assets, look at a variety of factors and then issue a decision based on what the court thinks is the fairest split of the couples' assets.

One particularly important asset is the family home, but how is a home treated? It depends on whether the couple has kids. If kids are involved, generally, the parent with primary custody will get the family home. But, if kids are not in the picture, then the court will try to be fair. That could be giving it to one spouse, having them share it or ordering the house sold and the proceeds split between the couple.

Illinoisans interested in knowing about how property division rules might apply to their situation may benefit from speaking with an experienced divorce attorney. After all, the key to protecting ones rights is first knowing those rights.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Divorce Property Division FAQ," accessed on Nov. 3, 2015

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