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FAQ Husband: Will My Wife Get All of My Money in a Divorce?

 Posted on May 18, 2018 in Illinois Family Law

Illinois divorce lawyerWhen you are filing for divorce in Oakbrook Terrace, it can be frustrating to think about property division and to have concerns about your spouse receiving a majority of the assets or money in a divorce. Many husbands want to know more specifically if their wives will be able to get all of their money in a divorce. In almost all divorce situations in Illinois, property is divided in a way that is fair to both parties. Keep in mind that “fair” does not mean “equal.” As such, one of the parties might end up getting more of the marital assets than the other based on factors in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA).

We will explain more about how money and other assets in the divorce are divided, and how a wife could seek additional money from the marriage by asking for spousal maintenance.

Concept of Marital Property and Equitable Distribution

The IMDMA requires that courts in DuPage County and throughout the state of Illinois divide marital property according to a theory known as “equitable distribution.” As we mentioned above, dividing property equitably does not mean that it is divided equally, but instead in a way that is fair to both of the parties. Under the statute, the court looks at many different factors, such as:

  • Income of each party;
  • Needs of each party;
  • Earning capacity of each party;
  • Standard of living during the marriage;
  • Age and physical health of the parties; and
  • Impairment to earning capacity.

Only marital property is divided. Marital property typically is any property that was acquired during the marriage. As such, you should know that any nonmarital property—or separate property—will not be subject to division and your wife will not be eligible to receive it. For instance, money acquired before the marriage and kept in a separate account will not be divided in divorce.

Alimony or Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

One way in which a husband’s wife may be able to get more of the money in a divorce—although certainly not all of it—is by asking for alimony or spousal maintenance. To get spousal maintenance in Illinois, one of the parties has to ask for it. For most marriages in Illinois, spousal maintenance can be temporary or long-term, and it usually is not permanent unless the marriage lasted for a very long time.

Spousal support is intended to help the party who requests it to get back on her feet and to improve her earning capacity by getting training to taking classes toward a degree or license. There is a spouse who pays maintenance to the other spouse.

How Is Maintenance Determined and Calculated?

How is spousal maintenance determined and calculated? Illinois law recently changed with regard to this question. Now, as long as both parties in the marriage earn less than a combined annual gross income of $500,000, there is a formula for determining the amount and duration of maintenance. The amount calculation works like this:

  • Take 30 percent of the gross income of the spouse responsible for paying maintenance;
  • Subtract 20 percent of the gross income of the spouse receiving the maintenance; and
  • Get the annual amount of spousal maintenance.

To determine the duration of the award, there is also a formula. For any marriage that lasts less than five years, the length of the marriage is multiplied by .20. For each additional year of marriage, that multiplier increases by .04. For example, for a marriage that lasts between five and six years (but less than six years), the duration is determined by multiplying the length of the marriage by .24. For a marriage that lasts between six and seven years (but less than seven years), the duration is determined by multiplying the length of the marriage by .28. This formula continues up to a marriage lasting 20 or more years, at which point the court has more discretion.

Speak with a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Worrying about finances in a divorce can be frustrating, but an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney can assist you. The advocates at our firm are committed to serving the DuPage County Muslim community and can answer your questions today. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office for more information.



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