Determining Who Gets What in a Divorce – How to Divide Personal Property

Whether you’ve been married just a few years or several decades, the process of going through a divorce can be an emotional one. Although you and your spouse are parting ways, there is still a bit of working together that must be done, and that involves dividing up your personal property. No matter how big or small your shared assets are, you will need to determine how they are to be divided.

Determining How Your Marital Property Will Be Divided

A large part of the divorce process is determining whether your personal property falls into the ‘marital’ category or the ‘separate’ category. Items that fall under ‘separate’ will be excluded from the division of property in your divorce.

Illinois Does Not Require a 50/50 Split

The state of Illinois is not a community property state, it’s an “equitable division” state. This means that you and your spouse’s personal property are not required to be divided 50/50. It’s also important to note that the courts in Illinois are prohibited from considering “marital misconduct” in dividing personal property and debts to ensure that all property is divided fairly.

You also have the right to reach a property settlement agreement with your spouse. If the two of you are able to agree on how your personal property and debts will be divided without the court’s interference, that agreement will stand.

What Personal Property is Considered Separate in a Divorce?

Personal property can be considered separate in a divorce, and thus excluded from the division of assets, if they are assets only belonging to one spouse. This can include items such as:

  • Assets acquired before the marriage
  • Assets received as an inheritance
  • Assets gifted to you while married

How Do I Determine the Value of Personal Property for My Divorce?

In a divorce, all assets that are to be divided must have an associated value with them. For smaller items such as household goods and furniture, you can assign a value based on the number you agree upon. For larger items like a home or high-value items such as fine china or works of art, an appraisal will need to be completed, and that fee can be split by you and your spouse. No matter what, you both will need to agree on the value of each possession.

Find an Oak Brook Family Law Attorney to Assist in Your Divorce

If you’re looking for an experienced divorce attorney in Oak Brook that can help you through your divorce, including the division of your personal property, contact the Law Office of David A. King, P.C., today.


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