There are several issues courts consider when dividing marital property in the event of dissolution of a marriage. The first issue is to determine the types of property that will be divided. Property subject to division by the court includes, but is not limited to, homes, automobiles, furniture, bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, stocks, and business interests.Most people are familiar with community property states, such as California, that divide the marital estate equally. Illinois is an equitable property state and, therefore, Illinois courts order a fair division of the property based on the following factors:
The second important issue the court will deal with when dividing the martial estate is whether property is considered marital or non-marital. Marital property means all property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage. The following is considered non-marital property:
Although an equitable division of the marital estate is considered on a case-by-case basis, the court is prohibited from considering marital misconduct when dividing the marital estate. Property will be divided fairly without the court acknowledging the transgressions of either spouse.
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