In Illinois, certain laws apply when dividing pensions and other types of monetary assets during a divorce. The laws only apply to marital property, which are the things a couple acquires during the course of their marriage. Non-marital property does not have to be divided. Non-marital property might be something received by one spouse as a gift or inheritance. A couple may also agree that some property won’t be divided during their divorce.
The pension benefits earned by either spouse during the marriage and until the marriage is dissolved by the court are considered marital property. The value of a pension covered by the Illinois Pension Code will be decided by the retirement system, but the value of pensions from other sources may be more difficult to calculate. If a spouse receives stock options, their value may not be able to be determined until a later date when the options can be used.
The court does not need to consider misconduct a spouse may have committed when dividing marital property. However, the court does consider some factors. Actions by either spouse which increased or decreased the value of marital property, including the efforts of a spouse who did not work outside the home, are considered. The age, health and sources of income, or potential income, for each spouse are also taken into account as are the tax consequences each spouse might face after the divorce.
In some situations, a financial professional, such as an accountant, may be useful to help the parties account for and decide the value of their monetary assets. Each spouse may have different concerns, issues and needs for support, depending on their financial situation. A lawyer can offer insight about areas of concern during the process of negotiating a property division agreement during a divorce.
Source: Illinois General Assembly , “(750 ILCS 5/) Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.“, November 17, 2014