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What Property Am I Entitled to During an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Property Division

Naperville Marital Property Divorce LawyerPeople often assume that the emotional and personal aspects of their divorce will be the hardest issues to deal with. However, many are surprised to learn just how complicated the financial and logistical parts of the divorce are. The division of marital property can be particularly complex – especially if the spouses have high incomes or own complex assets. If you are planning to divorce in Illinois, you may have questions about what property belongs to you, what belongs to your spouse, and what property is contained in the marital estate.

Marital and Non-Marital Property

Per Illinois law, assets and income that a spouse earns while he or she is married is marital property contained within the marital estate. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including inheritance and gifts. Property that a spouse owned before getting married is separate property and belongs solely to that individual during divorce.

However, as with many legal issues during divorce, differentiating between marital and non-marital property is not always this simple. Numerous factors can complicate property division, including:

Commingled property – When marital and non-marital property is mixed together, it can be transmuted or changed. For example, money acquired through inheritance is separate property. However, if that money is deposited into a joint account, the money can become marital property.

Hard-to-value property – Many assets are hard to properly value. Pensions, digital currency, antiques, art, and stocks are just some of the assets that you may need to have professionally appraised or valued before you can account for them during property division.

Property that is both marital and non-marital – Some assets may be partially marital and partially non-marital. Consider a small business that a spouse established before getting married. Because the spouse owned the business prior to his marriage, the business is separate property. However, if the owner’s spouse contributed time, energy, or funds into the business, she may be entitled to a portion of the business’s increased value.

Reaching an Agreement on How to Divide Property

Another factor that complicates property division during divorce is that many spouses disagree about who is entitled to what. If you and your spouse are struggling to agree on how to divide assets and debts, you may want to explore alternative resolution methods like mediation and collaborative law. You may also be able to negotiate an agreement with help from your respective lawyers. If you cannot reach an agreement after exhausting these possibilities, the case may be litigated or even go to trial.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting divorced, a Will County divorce attorney from Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. can help. Call 630-355-7776 for a free, confidential consultation.


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