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Alimony and Property Distribution FAQs
What property is subject to distribution?
Illinois law distinguishes between "marital" and "nonmarital" property. Only marital property is subject to equitable redistribution. The wealth or property acquired after a marriage ceremony is marital property unless:
Property acquired before marriage, but in contemplation of marriage is also deemed to be marital property.
When is "nonmarital" and "marital" property converted to the other?
During a marriage, marital and nonmarital property is often mixed. Significant "sweat equity" may also be added to increase the value of the nonmarital property.
The following principles apply to redistribution at divorce:
The above principles of gift, contribution, and reimbursement also apply to transfers from marital property and effort to nonmarital property.
What factors are weighed in determining property distribution?
Marital property shall be divided equitably. That is the key standard. The following factors are weighed:
One should note that marital misconduct is usually not a relevant factor. It only becomes a relevant factor if it included dissipation of marital property; then equitable principles would favor the innocent spouse.
When is one entitled to alimony or maintenance?
Alimony or maintenance may be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis on consideration of the following factors:
One should note that marital misconduct is not a relevant factor. One will observe that the Court examines the financial situation of both parties.
In deciding child custody, the Illinois court does not consider the gender of the custodial parent. The court considers all relevant factors including the wishes of the child's parents, the wishes of the child, the relationship of the child with the parents, siblings, and any other person who significantly affects the child's best interest, the child's adjustment to home, school, and community, the mental and physical health of everyone, any physical violence by the child's potential custodian, whether directed at the child or at another person, episodes of repeated abuse whether directed at the child or directed at another person, and the willingness and ability of each parent to encourage a close relationship between the other parent and the child.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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