Property Division During Illinois Divorce

A central emphasis of The Law Office of J. Patrick Nelson, PC is in our dealing with high asset, complex divorce matters. This is the most cumbersome and difficult area of divorce to navigate — and the reason our clients refer others to our attorneys. Handling the complicated high asset divorce cases is where we shine.

Marital and Non-Marital Property

In addition to disputes about child custody, the other most litigated issue in divorce is property division. Illinois is a unitary property state. That means that property is entirely classified as marital and non-marital property. Marital property is defined by 750 ILCS 5/503 as all property, regardless of title, that is acquired by either spouse after the marriage and before a judgment of dissolution of marriage. The above-mentioned statute creates a strong presumption that property acquired during the marriage is marital property and can be overcome only on a showing of clear and convincing evidence that that the property is non-marital. Examples of non-marital property are enumerated in 750 ILCS 5/503 as follows:

  1. acquired by gift or inheritance;
  2. acquired in exchange for premarital property or property acquired by gift or inheritance;
  3. acquired after a judgment of legal separation;
  4. excluded by parties’ agreement;
  5. obtained by judgment against the other spouse;
  6. acquired before the marriage;
  7. the increase in value of non-marital property in paragraphs (1) through (6) above remains non-marital, subject to reimbursement;
  8. the income from non-marital property in paragraphs (1) through (7) above is non-marital, if it did not result form spousal effort;
  9. for stock options, either for one of reasons enumerated in the above paragraphs, or where the grant is for work prior to or subsequent to the marriage.

Division of Marital Property

Section 5/503 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act requires the trial court to divide marital property in just proportions. This means that the court will typically consider an equitable distribution of the marital estate. If the court is unable to identify whether property is either marital or non-marital, then the property will be considered all marital. However, even if property is classified as non-marital a spouse may be required to reimburse the other spouse for contributions made by that spouse to the non-marital property. This area of the law is very fact specific, complex and is determined on a case by case basis. As such, no two cases are exactly alike and depend on the facts that are presented to the court.

Contact Our Experienced DuPage County Divorce Attorneys: Serving Chicago's Western Suburbs

The Law Office of J. Patrick Nelson, PC's seasoned divorce attorneys understand the complex financial interests at stake during divorce. We advocate for full disclosure and valuation of all potential marital property — and we aggressively protect our clients' interests in the event of property disputes. Based in Wheaton, we work with clients in DuPage County, Kane County, Will County, and throughout Chicago's western suburbs. Contact us for a complimentary initial consultation — call 630-480-4280, email, or complete our online information form.