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Social Security Impacts from Divorce

Property Division in Illinois: What to Know About Divorce and Asset Distribution in Chicago

In Illinois, the laws surrounding property division can be intricate. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Here are five important things you should know about property division in Illinois and divorce in Chicago.

1. Equitable Distribution vs. Community Property

In Illinois, the principle of equitable distribution is followed when it comes to dividing assets acquired during a marriage. This means that the assets are divided fairly between both parties, taking into account various factors such as income, earning potential, and contributions to the marriage. It should be noted that equitable distribution does not necessarily result in a 50/50 split, as the goal is to ensure a fair and just division based on the specific circumstances of each case.

In contrast, community property states have a different approach. In these states, all assets are divided equally between both parties, regardless of the various factors that may be considered in equitable distribution states. This means that each spouse is entitled to half of the assets acquired during the marriage, regardless of their individual contributions or financial circumstances.

2. Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

In Illinois, only marital property is subject to division during a divorce. Marital property includes all assets acquired during the course of the marriage, irrespective of whose name appears on the title or deed.

On the other hand, non-marital property, such as inheritances or gifts received by one spouse, will not be subject to division unless it has been mixed or commingled with marital assets. It is important to understand these distinctions in order to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of assets during the divorce process.

3. What is Considered an Asset?

Assets can include anything of value acquired during the marriage, such as real estate, vehicles, investments, retirement accounts, and even business interests. It’s important to note that all assets are subject to division, regardless of which spouse purchased or acquired them.

4. Custody of Children and Property Division

In Illinois, child custody is determined as a separate matter from property division during divorce proceedings. However, it is important to note that the court takes into consideration the well-being and needs of any children involved when making decisions regarding the distribution of assets. For instance, in cases where one spouse is granted primary custody of the children, the court may also award them the family home in order to ensure a stable and nurturing living environment for the children. This approach aims to prioritize the best interests of the children and provide them with a sense of stability.

5. Divorce Mediation or Litigation?

When it comes to dividing assets during a divorce, couples have two primary options: mediation or litigation. In mediation, both spouses actively participate in the process, working alongside a neutral third party to come to an agreement on asset distribution. This collaborative approach fosters open communication and allows the couple to have more control over the outcome. Moreover, mediation often proves to be a more cost-effective and amicable alternative to going through court litigation.

On the other hand, in the case where an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, the court steps in to make the final decisions for asset distribution during a litigated divorce. This process involves presenting arguments and evidence to the court, and ultimately, the judge will determine how the assets will be divided between the spouses.

It’s crucial to seek advice from an experienced financial advisor during this process. They can provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions about your financial future. Additionally, an experienced attorney can guide you through the complex property division laws in Chicago and ensure that your rights are protected.

Work with us

If you have more questions about property division, our team is here to help you every step of the way.  At Purposeful Wealth Advisors, we work closely with divorce attorneys, accountants, and other dedicated professionals to arrive at comprehensive solutions for our clients. 

Contact us today to know more about our services!


Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making a decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. and Keating Financial Advisory Services. Keating Financial Advisory Services and Purposeful Wealth Advisors are not a registered broker/dealers and are independent of Raymond James Financial Services.