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Illinois is an equitable division state. In divorce, Illinois courts try to split the marital property into a fair arrangement. If you have multiple properties, you may wonder how this affects the outcome of your marriage ending.

Families with multiple homes or other properties like time-shares or cabins need to understand the property division process. See below to learn more about what you stand to lose and how you might protect your assets.

How is property divided?

When dividing your estate, a judge or arbitrator considers the value of each property, the marriage length, economic contributions, finances from previous marriages, childcare expenses, the ability of each spouse to make money and a variety of other social and economic factors. However, since Illinois is a no-fault state, marital conduct does not play a role in determining asset division.


Determining who keeps the family home after divorce is often a financially, legally and emotionally complex process, especially when a couple shares young children.

During an uncontested divorce, spouses may be able to negotiate an agreement. However, if spouses cannot agree on ownership, the court treats the home as it does other types of assets that may be subject to equitable distribution under the law.

1. Is the family home marital property?

With the exception of personal gifts and inheritances, nearly all assets that either spouse acquires during marriage automatically become shared marital property subject to court division upon divorce. This includes the family home, even if only one party’s name is on the deed.


Dividing property in a divorce isn’t always a big deal for couples, especially those with few assets and who are renting. Couples who don’t own real estate together may divide property simply by each taking their own personal effects and perhaps divvying up the furniture, or selling it and dividing the proceeds equally. However things get more complicated when the couple owns real estate property together. The couple must decide how the marital home, as well as any rental properties the couple owns together, will be split. Consider the following overview of how property, including rental property, is divided in a divorce.

Equitable Division in Illinois

The law in Illinois requires couples divide marital property–that is, any property acquired during the course of the marriage by either spouse–in a manner that is equitable, but not necessarily equal. Couples are highly encouraged by the court to work together to reach a property division arrangement, as this gives the couple more autonomy in making a decision and is also less expensive and faster. However, in the event the couple cannot decide how to divide property, the court will intervene. If the court makes a decision, the decision will be based on a number of factors, including the existence of a premarital agreement, the length of the marriage, each spouse’s liabilities, the economic circumstances of each spouse and more. Rental Property Division Options


If you and your spouse are seeking a divorce, there are numerous issues you will need to work together to resolve or go to court in order to obtain a decision from a judge. For some couples, reaching an agreement is easy. For others, especially couples in high-asset marriages or those who jointly own family businesses, reaching an agreement about property division can prove extremely trying. If you and your spouse are divorcing and wondering to whom the family business will be assigned, here’s a look into what you need to know.

Illinois Property Division Laws

Before talking about the specifics of dividing a family business, it’s best to familiarize oneself with Illinois’ property division laws. In Illinois, the state requires that all marital property is divided amongst spouses in a manner that is considered “equitable.” Marital property generally includes property that was acquired during the course of the marriage, but excludes property acquired by gift or legacy, property acquired prior to the marriage, and property excluded from division due to a valid agreement entered into by the parties, such as a pre- or post-nuptial agreement.


Most couples who are looking to part ways legally are aware of the fact that doing so means that their assets will be up for division. In fact, until a couple reaches a property division settlement, a court will not grant a divorce.

But what many couples may not know is exactly what is included in a property division decision. If you have questions about what types of property and assets will be considered for division, or what the laws are regarding division, our Naperville divorce lawyers at the offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. can help.

What Does Illinois Law Say About Property Division in a Divorce?

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