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Dividing Your Property

Property Division Lawyers – DuPage County Illinois

Section 503 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act governs our law on the disposition of property and debts in divorce. If one were to Google this Section, it can be found at 750 ILCS 5/503. It is rather complex, so we have broken it down to what we have found to be the areas that most people inquire about.

These are the most commonly asked property questions. Please click the links below to learn more.

>What Is Marital Vs. Non-Marital Property?
>Is Everything Split 50%-50%?
>How are Retirement Benefits Divided? Dividing Pensions, 401k’s, 403b’s and IRA’s
>Who Gets the House in Divorce?

Who Moves Out? My Spouse is Telling Me To Move Out. Do I Have To?

Answer: No. You do not have to move out. Unless and until your spouse gets a court order granting him or her exclusive possession of the home, you have the same marital right to live in the house as they do. This is true even when title to the house is in your spouse’s name only.

If I Do Move Out, Is It Considered Abandonment?

Answer: No. This is the mother of all myths. You do not lose any of your rightful percentage of the equity in the home if you choose to reside elsewhere.

Can We Get Divorced Before We Are Able To Sell The Home?

Answer: From a legal standpoint, it makes no difference whether the divorce is entered before or after the sale of the home.

Can I Buy My Own House before the Divorce is Final?

Answer: Yes. This is a common occurrence, but if can cause unnecessary complications if protection measures are not put in place prior to the purchase. The attorneys know what procedures and wording are necessary to prevent either party from getting hurt, and this typically involves the buyer taking an agreed advance from his or her share of the marital estate.

Can I Change the Locks on the House?

Answer: Technically, the answer is yes, but be forewarned that the court usually frowns upon this type of behavior. However, and until a court enters an order prohibiting it, both you and your spouse are legally entitled to change the locks and thereby lock the other party out. Some people continue to do it to each other until they get tired of paying the locksmith bills.

The Home / Apartment is in My Spouse’s name only. Can He / She Make Me Move Out before the Divorce is Final?

Answer: No. You do not have to move out. Unless and until your spouse gets a court order granting him or her exclusive possession of the home, you have the same marital right to live in the house as they do.

My Parents Loaned Us the Down Payment for the House. Are They Protected if We Divorce?

Answer: Yes, but only if you and your spouse have made monthly or regular payments toward repayment of the loan. If you haven’t, the money your parents gave you will be deemed to be a gift and your spouse will not have to repay his or her share.

>What is a Quit Claim Deed?
>Can Spouse Get My House or any of My Accounts if they are in My Name?
>How Can I Protect My Inheritance?

Should I Change My Will?

Answer: You will no longer have a valid will. Illinois probate law automatically voids all wills as of the date of divorce.

>How Are Pets Dealt with in Divorce?

Who Keeps the Engagement Ring?

Answer: It depends on which fiancé broke off the wedding plans. The engagement ring belongs to the one that did NOT cause the cancellation of the wedding.


We welcome hearing from you and we invite your questions. There is no obligation. No one will ever know that we spoke or what we discussed. Everything you say is privileged, confidential, and completely classified. We do not maintain a mailing list and will not contact you unless you ask us to.

Calling us is easy. Ask for Richard or Kari (Oak Brook 630-928-0600), or email us at jk@illinoislegal.com or kc@illinoislegal.com.

If we are in court or in a meeting when you call, one of us will personally get back to you as quickly as possible. We are extremely discreet with callbacks and reply emails. Just leave your name and a secure email address or personal cell phone number.

Richard and Kari are staunch advocates of the non-court approach to divorce, and are also active and seasoned litigators with over 70 years of combined trial experience in the Illinois divorce courts of Cook, DuPage, and Will counties.

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