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Illinois Marital Property Laws

When you and your spouse bought that gorgeous dining room set, you weren’t thinking about which of you would get it if you ever got divorced. But if you live in one of the many states that don’t have marital or community property laws on the books, you could end up arguing over it in front of a judge. So which states recognize community property and which don’t? And absent a community property law, how do courts decide who gets the couch? Here’s a summary of marital property laws in Illinois.

Marital Property Laws Generally

All property obtained by a married couple during the course of their marriage is considered "marital property" and subject to division upon divorce in some states. Ten states have community property laws that determine how debt and property are divided in a divorce: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Washington and Wisconsin. In states that recognize community property, even items obtained individually (but during the marriage) are subject to divorce. Illinois marital property laws do not recognize community property, which means property is not necessarily divided down the middle.

Marital Property Laws in Illinois

Learn more about Illinois marital property laws in the table below.

Community Property Recognized?

No

Dower And Curtesy

Dower and curtesy abolished as of 1/1/72 (755 ILCS 5/2-9)

Absent a statue requiring equal distribution of marital property, Illinois courts attempt to divide property in a divorce “equitably” or fairly. Some factors the court may consider are:

  • The contribution of you and your spouse to the purchase, preservation, or increase or decrease in value of the marital or property;
  • The value of the property assigned to you and your spouse;
  • The duration of your marriage;
  • The relevant economic circumstances of you and your spouse when the division of property is to become effective;
  • Any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either you or your spouse;
  • The age, health, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of you and your spouse;
  • The custodial provisions for any children;
  • Whether the apportionment is in lieu of or in addition to maintenance;
  • The reasonable opportunity of you and your spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income; and
  • The tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of you and your spouse.

Illinois Marital Property Laws: Related Resources

Going through a divorce is tough enough, without the added stress of separating property. If you feel that you need legal advice, you can consult with an Illinois divorce attorney near you. You can find more general information in FindLaw’s divorce and property section.

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