top of page

Property Division Basics

by Wes Cowell; updated 4 June 2016 -- suggest a correction


Illinois is not a "community property" state.  It is an "equitable division" state.   That means property is not necessarily divided 50/50.  Debts are a kind of "property."  All property -- including all debts -- must be divided in a divorce.  Work with our office to secure a fair and equitable property division.  Need advice? Callleave your info, or scheduleschedule a consult.


Breaking up can be hard to do.  Trying to figure out your share of the property can seem impossible.  Your divorce will probably be the largest and riskiest financial event of your life. Achieving a fair result, whether by settlement or trial, will depend on a solid understanding of divorce law as well as tax law, probate law, valuation, bankruptcy law, investment planning, C.O.B.R.A., retirement planning, E.R.I.S.A., real estate law, and more.


Illinois is an "equitable division" state – not a "community property" state -- which means that in Illinois divorces, marital property must be divided equitably and fairly between the parties.  THat may or may not work out to a 50 /50 split.


Date of Valuation in Bifurcated Trials:  If your case doesn't settle, it will be up to the trial judge to set a date that will serve as a mark in time for valuing all property.  In most cases judges go with the date that the trial commences.  Divorce trials are bifurcated: the court first tries the issue of whether the divorce should be granted and then a second trial takes place about what to do with the kids, the property, and everything else.  The lag between the first trial and the second is usually measured in seconds or minutes.  Sometimes, however, the delay can be months or years.  When that happens, its up to the judge to determine the date by which to value the property.  750 ILCS 5/403(c).






Need more help? Ready to take the next step? Our attoneys are here for you.





Speak directly with an experienced divorce and family law attorney
at no charge.



  • Facebook Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
bottom of page