When legally ending a marriage in Illinois, couples are required to divide their marital assets in an equitable manner. This makes the determination of whether an asset is marital or separate extremely important, so if you and your spouse are contemplating divorce and you have questions about whether you will need to share a certain asset, it is important to speak with an experienced Naperville, IL property division lawyer who can help you.
In Illinois, the date of a couple’s marriage is usually used to differentiate between the separate and marital assets of two parties. Generally, anything that one spouse owned before marriage will remain his or her property even in the event of divorce. On the other hand, anything purchased or acquired after a marriage takes place, whether by one spouse or by both spouses together, is considered marital property and must be divided in an equitable manner.
It’s important to note that there are exceptions to these general rules. For instance, gifts given to one person during a marriage are considered separate property, as are any inheritances received by one party. Other exceptions to this rule include:
Besides these specific exceptions, there are a number of circumstances when it will not be very clear whether an asset is separate or marital. In fact, in some cases, an asset can have the components of both separate and marital property. If, for example, a person owned a retirement account before marriage, but made additional contributions after getting married, then the assets owned before marriage will qualify as separate property, while post-marriage-date contributions will be categorized as marital property.
After taking all of these rules and exceptions into account, divorcing couples can take a few different steps to help them begin identifying separate and marital assets, including:
Overlooking an asset during the property division process can have serious consequences and can ultimately affect a couple’s final property settlement agreement. To avoid this, you should consider working closely with an experienced attorney.
To set up a case review with one of the dedicated DuPage County property division lawyers at J. Aldrich Law, P.C., please call our office at 630-953-3000. You can also request an appointment by completing an online contact form. There is no charge for initial consultations, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team by phone or online message today.