On January 1, 2016, section 514 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act was repealed. It allowed for the partition of real estate and stated “[a] court having jurisdiction in an action for dissolution of marriage may, upon petition of one of the parties, hear or decide an action for partition subject to the provisions of Article XVII of the Code of Civil Procedure, as now or hereafter amended, except as otherwise provided in this Act.”
However, the court is empowered to grant a petition to partition under 750 ILCS 5/501 Temporary Relief. Section 750 ILCS 5/501(a)(3) states: In all proceedings under this Act, temporary relief shall be as follows: (a) Either party may petition or move for: (3) other appropriate temporary relief including, in the discretion of the court, ordering the purchase or sale of assets and requiring that a party or parties borrow funds in the appropriate circumstances.
Thus, the court has vast authority to preserve the marital estate through the sale and purchase of resources, including, selling unaffordable assets, converting non-liquid assets into cash, and borrowing against equity.
Instead of the legislature decreasing the court’s power by eliminating 750 ILCS 5/514, it is actually increasing the court’s power by adding additional language to 750 ILCS 5/501.