Property Division

Chicago Property Division Attorneys

Property/asset division in a divorce is one of the more emotionally charged and sometimes challenging part of the divorce process; this is especially true where significant assets have been acquired during the marriage. The experienced attorneys at Hammer Serna & Quinn will guide you through the property division process to protect your rights and to ensure you receive your fair share.

Non-Marital Property

In Illinois, marital property is generally any property acquired during the marriage unless the property is considered non-marital property.

Non-marital property is generally any property that one spouse owned or acquired before the marriage or property which was acquired during the marriage by inheritance or gift. Non-marital property remains the property of one spouse and is not subject to division in the divorce.

Sometimes determining what portion of a particular asset is marital or non-marital can be complex and depends on a variety of factors. The experienced attorneys at Hammer Serna & Quinn can help you determine what, if any, non-marital property exists and what is necessary to help you protect your non-marital property in the event of divorce.

Division of the Marital Estate

You and your spouse can decide how to allocate your property, but if you cannot reach a mutually agreeable decision, the Court will make a determination as to how to divide your assets. In Illinois, marital property is divided equitably between the parties.

This does not necessarily mean that marital property must to be divided 50/50 between the spouses. Instead, the statute directs the court to divide marital property equitably or fairly according to the facts of your particular case.

In making an equitable division of marital property, the Court will consider many factors such as:

  • Whether one spouse has a great deal more non-marital property than the other. In this case, a judge may award the other spouse a larger share of marital property.
  • Each spouse’s work experience, training, and skills. A stay-at-home spouse with no job skills or experience, for example, might receive a larger portion of the marital property.
  • The age and health of each spouse – including whether it is unrealistic to expect one of the parties to gain reasonable employment because of age, ill-health, or disability.
  • Whether either of the parties has used or transferred marital property for non-marital purposes (e.g., funding an extramarital affair), or destroyed marital property. The party who dissipated marital assets may be awarded a smaller percentage of marital property to compensate the other for this misuse.
  • If the court decides to award additional marital property in lieu of spousal maintenance.
  • The ability of each spouse to acquire future assets and income.
  • The obligations or rights for support stemming from a previous marriage or relationship.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • Each party’s contributions to obtaining, growing and preserving the property.
  • Whether the parties have a premarital or postnuptial agreement.
  • The cost of raising the children.
  • The tax consequences of the property division.
  • Any other factors the court deems relevant.

Complex Property Division

If you are a business owner, if you and/or your spouse is executive who is well compensated with stock options and retirement benefits, or if you have a complex family estate, you will need the expertise of attorneys who are experienced in analyzing business valuations, executive compensation, and complex estate plans/trusts in the context of divorce. Further, the attorneys at Hammer Serna & Quinn have access to top-notch experts in taxation and finance, business valuation, and forensic accounting to value and protect your fair share of the marital property so that your case will be properly prepared for trial.

At Hammer Serna & Quinn, we understand that safeguarding your property and obtaining a favorable settlement is extremely important. We will work diligently to ensure that your interests are protected and that you receive your fair share of your marital estate.

Get In Touch

Call or email Hammer Serna & Quinn, LLC today to schedule a consultation.