The Law Firm of Debra J. Braselton, P.C.
Illinois Matrimonial and Family Law 630-DIVORCE

What is considered "non-marital property" in Illinois?

While people are married, they technically share everything whether they realize it or not. Most income, property, retirement accounts and other assets that are obtained during the marriage are considered "marital property." This means that even if the assets are held in separate accounts, with only one spouse's name on it, or if property is only owned by one party, that both parties still have a right to that property. This does not usually become an issue until a couple is going through a divorce and the couple begins the process of the division of assets.

One of the first steps in dividing assets in a divorce is determining which assets are marital and which are non-marital. Generally, anything acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage is considered non-marital property. However, in many situations, people do not always close their accounts when they get married and retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs usually remain in one spouse's name. So, these accounts or other types of property may have a portion that is marital and a portion that is non-marital.

Non-marital property also includes assets that a spouse receives through gift or inheritance regardless of whether the inheritance or gift was received during the marriage. In addition to that, any gains in value of the non-marital property and any property received in exchange for non-marital property will remain non-marital. So, determining the value of marital property is not the only concern when dividing assets. Determining what is and is not marital property can be a complicated process.

There are many divorces in Illinois each year. While each one is unique and the outcomes will be based on the unique circumstances of each individual marriage, one issue that every couple will need to resolve is the division of assets. This can sometimes be a relatively simple process, but it can get very complicated very quickly in certain situations.

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