Our Elmhurst Lawyer Understands Property Division and Spousal Support in an Illinois Divorce

For most people, divorce is a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime occurrence. When a marriage breaks down, individuals facing divorce may reach out to friends and family members for advice. Each advice-giver speaks from his or her perspective and experience.

Perhaps for this reason, myths and misconceptions abound with regard to property division, a necessary component of a marital dissolution. People hear rumors that property must be divided on a 50-50 basis because Illinois is an equitable property state. In fact, each divorce has its own set of facts that figure into the determination of what is “equitable.”

For example, if one spouse squandered marital assets on gambling or adulterous relationships after the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, the other spouse, who received no benefit from that money, is entitled to compensation for his or her portion of those assets in an equitable property settlement.

Understanding Illinois Spousal Support Determinations

Spousal support or spousal maintenance is another area that brings questions and misconceptions to light. You may hear from friends or relatives that a marriage lasting 10 years or longer will trigger spousal maintenance. In reality, spousal support may or may not trigger at less than 10 years.

In fact, the law does not set a specific length of time of marriage after which spousal maintenance is ordered for the dependent spouse. There are many factors that a divorce court will consider in deciding whether spousal maintenance (alimony) is applicable, including the age of the parties, each party’s ability to earn income, how much each party contributed to the marriage financially and otherwise, differences in the parties’ education levels, and any disabilities that may impede the dependent spouse’s ability to support himself or herself. The court then assigns a numerical percentage.

You owe it to yourself to get the facts straight when divorce looms on your horizon. The sooner you talk to an experienced, knowledgeable Elmhurst property division lawyer about property issues in your pending divorce, the better you can prepare to handle this aspect of your marital dissolution efficiently and reasonably. For example, you may need time to gather documentation of all your assets and income. A lawyer can guide you as you prepare to return to the single life.

Although marriage has many similarities with a business partnership, it is a much more personal bond, and emotional fallout is common when a marriage breaks down. Divorce is one of the most traumatic life events that most people go through. For this reason, a knowledgeable attorney who will watch out for your short-term and long-term best interests is a valuable asset and ally.

Contact the Law Offices of Laura M. Urbik Kern to schedule a consultation with an Oak Park property division lawyer regarding matters of property division and/or spousal support or spousal maintenance.