Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that joint assets are divided based on fairness in a final divorce settlement. Furthermore, you may be entitled to spousal support payments to help you enjoy a lifestyle similar to the one that you had while married.
What does equitable mean?
It’s important to understand that an equitable split is not the same thing as an equal split. For instance, if you stayed home to raise a child during your marriage, you may receive 75% of the marital estate. This would serve as compensation for the time that you weren’t able to spend at work generating an income for yourself. If you were the main breadwinner for your household, you would likely be the one who received the smaller share of the marital estate in a divorce settlement.
You can still retain total control of certain assets
It may be possible to create an equitable distribution of joint property even if you retain full control over individual assets. For instance, you could agree to give your spouse 100% ownership of the family home in exchange for keeping 100% ownership of a business. It’s important to note that property held in a trust is generally not subject to property division rules. Therefore, you might be able to keep those items without having to give up anything in return.
If you have questions about equitable distribution rules, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help you determine if a proposed settlement is likely to be upheld by a judge.