If you don’t have children, you might expect that your divorce will be fast and conflict-free. After all, you don’t have to worry about custody or child support issues. However, even couples that don’t share children can find themselves in an intense disagreement when they decide to divorce because they won’t agree about who should get what from their marital assets.
If you can’t reach an agreement on your own and you don’t have a prenuptial agreement guiding the distribution of your assets, you may have to let an Illinois family court decide how to split up your property.
If the courts are making the decisions in your divorce, equitable distribution will influence the outcome of the asset division process.
What is the goal of equitable distribution?
When the Illinois courts are the ones who must determine how to handle shared marital property in a divorce, the law mandates that they try to find an equitable solution. The goal or purpose of equitable distribution is to divide assets and debts in a way that is fair based on the family’s circumstances.
Equitable does not always mean even or equal. Some people presume that the courts will divide their assets in half, but that may not be the case. Factors such as financial contributions to the household, unpaid contributions, like housework and child care, the duration of the marriage and many other factors will influence what the courts view as fair for your circumstances.
Gathering evidence about income and assets, as well as documentation of your financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage, can be a good starting point. Your attorney can provide detailed guidance for you.