Butler Giraudo & Meister
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Divorcees advised to remain focused and engaged during settlement process

Few life events bring as many changes and challenges as divorce. Regardless of the circumstances that drove a couple to divorce, the end of any marriage is often a difficult reality to face and the finality that divorce brings often causes each spouse to suffer both emotionally and mentally. It's no wonder then that, while in the midst of a divorce, some individuals fail to fully contemplate or understand important financial considerations.

For many divorcing spouses, the division of marital property and assets is a confusing and arduous process. Illinois is an equitable distribution state meaning that a judge will take numerous factors into consideration when determining who gets what and how much of it as well as who is responsible for the repayment of certain marital debts. When facing or going through a divorce, it's important to understand factors that may influence the equitable, or more accurately fair, distribution of assets and debts.

In some cases, an individual who is emotionally-drained and tired may unwisely concede to certain terms while negotiating a divorce settlement. Doing so, however, can have a devastating impact on both an individual's short and long-term financial status. While it can be difficult, it's important to remain an active and collaborative participant when negotiating the division of marital property and assets.

When attempting to provide for the fair distribution of marital property and debts, a judge is likely to take numerous factors into account including the individual earning potential of each spouse and whether a husband or wife has children to support. In cases where a judge believes one spouse to be at an a financial disadvantage, he or she may take this into account when making decisions related to the division of marital assets and property as well as potentially awarding spousal support.

Source: The Gazette, "IT'S YOUR MONEY: In divorce, 'equitable' doesn't mean 'equal'," Linda Leitz, Aug. 5, 2014

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