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What is Considered Marital Property in Illinois?

Posted in Divorce on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

The division of property and debts is often one of the most challenging issues in Illinois divorces. If you are going through a divorce, it’s imperative that you understand how Illinois law views and categorizes property and how it dictates its division. For help negotiating with your soon-to-be ex-spouse or to understand your legal right and options better, reach out to a skilled Illinois divorce attorney today.

Separate Property vs. Marital Property

One of the most crucial tasks in a divorce is categorizing the property and assets of the couple into separate or marital property. Marital property is property acquired by the couple during the course of the marriage. Typically, separate property is property that one spouse owned before the marriage or that one spouse inherited or was gifted after they were already married. 

Other types of separate property might include:

  • Property or assets acquired by one spouse in exchange for property that spouse acquired before the marriage or by gift, legacy, or descent
  • Property or assets acquired by a spouse after a judgment of legal separation
  • Property or assets excluded from the marital estate by pre or post-nuptial valid agreement 
  • Any judgment or property obtained by judgment awarded to one spouse from the other
  • An increase in value of any of these types of nonmarital property 

Only marital property is subject to division in an Illinois divorce. Separate property will remain that of the spouse unless they want to use it to negotiate a settlement within the divorce. Either way, it’s crucial to have the advice of a well-versed Illinois divorce lawyer on your side to ensure your separate property is protected.

Illinois: An Equitable Distribution State

Under the Illinois family code, marital property must be split equitably when a couple calls it quits. However, equitably doesn’t necessarily mean equally. The court won’t look to make a 50/50 split of the property. Instead, they look at various factors such as:

  • Pre or postnuptial agreements
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age, health, and station in life
  • Value of property assigned to each spouse
  • Economic circumstances of each spouse
  • Contributions to acquiring, preserving, or increasing value of marital property, including those as a homemaker
  • Contributions to any reduction in value or waste of marital or separate property
  • Custodial arrangements for any children of the marriage
  • Any tax consequences of the property division

After identifying which property is marital property, the couple, or the court, will assign a monetary value to each piece of property. Valuing an item can help couples or the court determine whether a specific property distribution is fair and equitable.

When you hire a qualified Illinois divorce attorney from our firm, we will help you understand the court’s perspective and take every step we can to protect your interests when it comes to equitable property division.

Call a Skilled Illinois Divorce Attorney at Sabuco Beck, P.C. Today

If you are looking for a skilled Illinois divorce lawyer who can assist you with property division, look no further than the lawyers at Sabuco Beck, P.C. We have the resources and experience necessary to stand up for your rights, attempt to negotiate fair settlements, and ensure the court knows all the information it should before it finalizes your divorce decree. Contact us today to learn more about your rights regarding property division in divorce.

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