If you’re a stay-at-home spouse, do you have any right to the marital assets?
When you’re a stay-at-home spouse without an income or resources of your own, the idea of getting a divorce can be particularly scary. You may feel financially restricted in your marriage because of your lack of income or you may feel frightened that your spouse’s decision to leave will leave you destitute.
Under Illinois law, marital assets are divided equitably. The court will look at aspects, such as:
- The duration of your marriage and the contributions both partners made to the marriage, including the preservation of or addition to the marital assets. Your contribution as a homemaker can be valued just as highly as your spouse’s contributions as a wage earner, since your care for the home and kids has allowed your spouse to pursue a career.
- The relative economic disparity between you and your spouse after the divorce, as well as your age, health, prior work experience and education, can influence your ability to earn a living on your own.
- Whether or not you will still need to care for the children after the divorce, which can be another limiting factor in your ability to provide for yourself.
Aside from a fair division of the marital assets, you may also be entitled to maintenance, formally known as spousal support, which provides you with financial support.