no need to leave your home to receive legal consultations and services - Call or click to learn more about phone and videoconferencing with our attorneys

How Do Homemaker Contributions Impact Property Division in Illinois Divorce?

Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
October 28, 2019

In this article, we explain how homemaker contributions impact property division in Illinois divorce.  We answer the following questions:

  • How are assets divided in Illinois divorce?
  • What is the homemaker contribution in Illinois divorce?
  • How do courts weigh a spouse’s contribution as a homemaker when dividing assets in Illinois divorce.  

How are Assets Divided in Illinois Divorce?

Illinois is an “equitable division” state, not a “community property” state.  This means that rather than marital property being divided in half between the spouses, courts have discretion to divide property based on a number of factors.  We discuss these factors in detail in our article, How is Property Divided in Illinois Divorce?

What is the Homemaker Contribution in Illinois Divorce?

One of the factors that courts consider when determining how to apportion marital property between spouses is each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of the assets. Illinois courts generally weigh a spouse’s contributions as a homemaker equally with contributions as a breadwinner.  This is known as the “homemaker contribution.”

How do Courts Weigh a Spouse’s Contribution as a Homemaker When Dividing Assets in Illinois Divorce?

Illinois courts do not use a specific formula to determine how to weigh one spouse’s contribution as a homemaker to the acquisition of marital assets against the other spouse’s contribution as a breadwinner.  Rather, courts look at the household services and raising of children provided by the homemaker spouse on a case by case basis. Courts recognize that often one spouse foregoes educational and career opportunities in order to support the other spouse in advancing his or her career.  

The more the homemaker spouse can demonstrate that his or her actions have supported the breadwinner spouse in allowing him or her to further his or her career, the more heavily the homemaker contribution will be weighed.  The length of the marriage is an important factor in determining how heavily the homemaker contribution will be weighed. The longer the marriage, the less important courts find each spouse’s individual contribution to the acquisition of assets to be, meaning that in long marriages courts are more likely to assume that both spouses contributed equally.  

If one spouse both provides financially for the family and also does the bulk of household chores and child rearing activities, the homemaker contribution of the other spouse will not carry much weight.  In a case like this, the breadwinner spouse has a good argument to receive the majority of marital assets. 

Similarly, if the homemaker spouse has been wasteful of marital assets, such that his or her participation in the marriage was actually an economic detriment, courts factor this into the distribution of assets.

Additional Financial Considerations
from Financial Experts

From Financial Experts

For many years, financial institutions have been creating a disservice to clients and the industry as a whole for years.
View More Professional Considerations

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

How are Assets Divided in Divorce?

Need Legal Help? 

Schedule a

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Leave a Comment With Your Questions

Read more about

Family Law & Divorce

We offer free, paid & Online CONSULTATION in:

Family Law & Divorce

Schedule a consultation with our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys

We offer free, paid & online consultation in nearly every area of law throughout Illinois and Iowa. We have a range of options to assist you with your legal needs.

What happens at a legal consultation?
Meet with an attorney for a free consultation to discuss what type of matter you need to discuss with an attorney.
Over the Phone Legal Consultations
Similar to In-person consultations, you discuss your legal needs with our attorneys to discuss your matter.
An online consultation is like an in-person and an over the phone online Consultation. You meet face to face with our attorneys through our online portal.
Paid Legal Consultations
While a free consultation allows us to discuss what we can do in general terms for your legal matter, a paid consultation allows us to answer direct questions.

More Illinois Divorce & Legal Separation Episodes

contact us

Monday to Friday
9am - 5pm

Contact Us
Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation for legal advice specific to your situation.

Here are some articles that may interest you
Schedule a

Contact us for a Free Consultation

Schedule a free consultation

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our office locations in:

Who We Are
We are your community law firm. Our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys are committed to providing exceptional client service in a cost-effective manner in the areas of Family Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Guardianship, Criminal Defense, Corporate & Contract Law, Bankruptcy and Real Estate.

Some of Our Accomplishments

Best Child Support Lawyers in Chicago
DuPage County Probate Attorney
Kevin P. O'Flaherty
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...
Naperville attorney
DuPage County Probate Attorney

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required