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property, DuPage County divorce attorneysIf you are considering divorce, you probably have several questions and concerns. One of these may the question of how your property, assets, and debts will be split between you and your spouse. In an Illinois divorce, marital property and debt are divided according to “equitable distribution” laws. Of course, determining exactly what is equitable is not always easy, and many factors go into asset division decisions.

Only Marital Property is Divided

During an Illinois divorce, the only property which is subject to division is marital, or shared property. At first glance, it may seem easy to distinguish marital property from separate, or non-marital property. The marital estate, as it is called, generally includes property acquired during the marriage and separate property includes assets which the spouses owned prior to getting married. However, there are many exceptions to these generalizations. Certain gifts and inheritances acquired during the marriage are still considered separate property. However, if separate property is comingled, or mixed, with maritirel property, the funds or property may all be considered marital. For example, if a husband receives an inheritance from a deceased relative during the marriage, this is likely separate property. However, if he then uses these funds to pay for combined expenses, the whole amount may be considered marital property during divorce.

Illinois Divides Property Equitably, Not Necessarily Evenly

Some states divide marital property 50-50 during divorce. However, Illinois takes a different approach. Illinois uses a method called equitable distribution to determine how assets and debt should be divided during a divorce. Many factors are considered by the court in order to determine the most reasonable and fair division of assets. These factors include, but are not limited to:

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DuPage County divorce lawyersOne of the most confusing and complex issues in divorce is the separation of marital property from non-marital assets. Much of the complexity stems from the difficulty in proving the origins of an individual asset. However, many other factors play into this common issue as well. Learn more about how the courts distinguish marital assets from non-marital ones, and how an attorney can help you navigate through the process.

Yours, Mine, or Ours?

During the marriage, many couples share their assets. They do not see it as belonging to one party or the other. Instead, they consider their assets "joint" assets. Divorce often changes that view. Unfortunately, the process of untangling what belongs to whom can lead to bitter arguments and contention. Sometimes, the answer is simple. For example, an asset brought into the marriage by either party is generally considered a non-marital asset (provided it was never co-mingled with marital assets). Other times, though, it is far more difficult to distinguish if the asset is marital property or non-marital property. As an example, an inheritance that gifted to just one party during the marriage might have been excluded from the marital estate, but using it as a down payment for the family home is likely to make it a marital asset.

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Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, DuPage County divorce attorneyIf you or your spouse has or is considering filing for divorce, it does not have to be contentious. Sometimes couples grow apart and want different things during their marriage and decide to get a divorce. It does not mean that you want to fight about everything. Speaking with an experienced divorce lawyer or mediation lawyer can help you decide what is the best route for you and your spouse. Some things to think about throughout the divorce process are:

1. Do not believe everything you are told.

Every divorce is different. What one couple experienced during their divorce is not exactly what you will experience during your divorce. You may experience one or two things, such as property division or spouse maintenance, that one couple experienced, but your experience with child custody or visitation rights may be the exact opposite of that same couple.

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