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If I Made More Money in Our Marriage, Do I Get More in Our Divorce? 

Posted on in Divorce

wheaton divorce lawyerAlthough it may not seem romantic, marriage is a financial partnership. This is never more clear than during divorce, when a couple who has combined their incomes and assets for years now has to split them up. The end of a marriage has major financial implications for both partners and it is natural to have many questions about what happens to your money in a divorce. One of the most common questions Illinois divorce attorneys get is whether a spouse who has made more money will get to keep more of the marital estate. In community property states, assets are divided 50/50; however, Illinois does things a little differently. 

How is Property Divided in an Illinois Divorce? 

Illinois is a so-called “equitable division” divorce state, meaning that courts are more focused on determining whether an asset settlement is fair rather than exactly equal. Courts encourage couples to create asset settlements on their own, using the help of a mediator if necessary. 

However, when couples truly cannot reach an agreement (or when negotiating may be dangerous, such as in a case involving domestic violence), a court will look at several factors as it creates an asset settlement for a couple. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Each spouse’s financial contributions to the marriage

  • The physical and emotional health of each spouse

  • Each spouse’s non-marital assets

  • Each spouse’s income or earning potential

  • Whether spousal maintenance is a factor

  • How long the marriage lasted

  • The standard of living the couple enjoyed

Although different courts may interpret these factors differently, note that one of the factors is how much a spouse contributed financially to a relationship. If one spouse worked and earned the family’s income while the other spouse remained unemployed, even though they were not raising children and could have worked if they wanted to, the spouse working may receive a greater share of the estate. However, courts view the labor of childrearing as a major contribution to a marriage, so they will not shortchange a spouse on marital assets if he or she did not work because of the demands of childrearing. 

Schedule a Consultation with an Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney

Understanding how marital property division works in an Illinois divorce is essential for setting realistic expectations. To get help negotiating a fair asset division settlement, schedule an initial consultation with an Arlington Heights asset division lawyer with A. Traub & Associates. Call us today at 847-749-4182




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