In general, property includes real estate, furniture, cars, bank accounts, stocks, retirement funds, and more. Illinois courts differentiate between marital and non-marital property when dividing assets. Anything that is acquired during the marriage, unless it was a gift, inherited or specifically excluded by a pre-marital agreement, is considered marital property, regardless of who earned the most money during the marriage. The court may also consider the increase in value of non-marital property during the marriage as marital property. Illinois law requires that all marital property, including debts, be divided “equitably,” not “equally.”
Illinois is an Equitable Distribution/division state. In determining how to equitably divide the assets, the court will consider the financial or other contributions each party had made to acquiring property, along with each party’s financial situation and the likelihood that each party will acquire assets in the future. The court may also look at whether a party used marital income for purposes not related to the marriage, the duration of marriage, and the age/health of each party, among other factors. (See all factors under 750 ILCS 5/503(d)).