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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 dividing property, the Illinois court considers all relevant factors including the contribution of each party to the value of the property, particularly the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker, the value of the property distributed to each spouse, the length of the marriage, the financial situation of each spouse when the property is divided, (such as the need to give the family home to the spouse who has custody of the children), any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either party, the age, health, station, occupation, income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties, the custody of any children, and the reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
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