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Dividing Your Property

What Gets Decided Upon in a Typical Divorce?

Answer: The following is a list of items that the parties or the judge must decide upon. The list varies depending upon the circumstances: Children Who will be the custodial or residential parent? Will the custody be sole, joint, shared, or split? What rights will the non-custodial or nonresidential parent have to be and spend time with the children? Will there be any restriction on where the custodial or … [Read more…]

What Is Marital Vs. Non-Marital Property?

Answer: At the time of divorce, “marital” property is divided by the Court and distributed to the spouses in percentages that the Court deems to be fair, just and equitable. “Non-marital” property is not divided but is awarded to the party that owns the property. WE DO NOT HAVE “COMMUNITY PROPERTY” IN ILLINOIS. ARBITRATION IS NOT USED IN DIVORCE CASES AT THIS TIME. In short, marital property … [Read more…]

Who Gets the House?

Answer: The wife does not get the house as frequently as myth would have us believe. The marital residence is dealt with in different ways depending on some of the following variables: The length of the marriage; The amount of equity in the home; The ages of the children; The ability of the wife to afford the home after the divorce; The intensity of the desire of either or both parties for the home; … [Read more…]

Who Moves Out?

Answer: This is America and people cannot be deprived of the use of their property without due process of law. Neither party is required to move out just because the other spouse has asked him or her to do so. It is becoming more and more common for parties to remain in the same residence during the pendency of their case. Our law does provide for the removal of one spouse from the marital home upon … [Read more…]

Can my Spouse Get Any of the House or Bank Accounts if They are only in My Name?

Answer: Yes. Illinois’ divorce law overrides some of the laws that would normally pertain to banking and property/account ownership. For example, if a house or a bank account is only in one party’s name, under the applicable real estate or banking law, the home or account belongs entirely to that party and the other spouse has no rights to it. However, if the court deems the home or account to be a … [Read more…]

If the House is only in My Spouse’s Name, Can He or 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.

The House is in Both Of Our Names and My Spouse is Asking Me to Move Out. Do I Have to?

Answer: No. Without a court order to the contrary, you do not have to move out. You have as much right to remain in the home as your spouse does.

Can I Change the Locks on the House?

Answer: Technically, the answer is yes, but be forewarned that the court usually frown 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.

My Parents Loaned Us the Down Payment for Our 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 if My Parents Had Us Sign a Note and a Mortgage and Recorded Them?

Answer: The mere signing and recording of a note are not enough to establish that the down payment is a loan. A pattern of regular or monthly loan payments to the parents must be shown, or the earnest money is deemed to be a gift.

Can We Get Divorced before we are Able to Sell the Home?

Answer: Yes. Your judgment for dissolution will protect you. It will spell out the terms that are necessary to protect you, your spouse, and the efficiency of the showing, listing, and closing of your subsequent home sale.

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.

What is a Quit Claim Deed?

Answer: When you and your spouse first purchased your home, you received a warranty deed from the sellers in which they guaranteed that you were getting a clean title. This is for your protection and for your lender’s protection. However, when a co-owner of a property wishes to transfer his or her interest in the property to the other co-owner (as is often the case in divorce), a warranty deed … [Read more…]

How Can I Protect My Inheritance?

Answer: If a spouse inherits or is gifted any property during a marriage, that property (under our divorce law) is non-marital property and will remain the sole property of the spouse receiving any such gift or inheritance provided that which is gifted or inherited starts out with and remains titled to or in an account held solely in the name of that spouse. If the gifted or inherited property is placed in … [Read more…]

How Are Pets Dealt with in a Divorce?

Answer: They aren’t. The divorce legal system offers no relief to pet owners and requires them to resolve all such issues on their own. However, there is some widespread indication that this may change. Until it does, the courts do not have the authority to rule on custody, visitation, or any other issues pertaining to pets.

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.

For More Information:

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Richard and Kari are staunch advocates of the non-court approach to divorce, and are also active and seasoned litigators with over 60 years of combined trial experience in the Illinois divorce courts of Cook, DuPage, and Will counties.


1 S 660 Midwest Road Suite 320 Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181



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