If you are about to undergo a divorce, one of the most pressing issues on your mind may be property division. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means items are divided equitably and not equally. Understanding how your assets will be divided will prepare you for what is to come and how to get your financial affairs in order.
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, marital property is anything that either spouse acquires after the marriage and before the final dissolution of that marriage. You should be aware that it does not necessarily matter who holds the property title. For example, if one spouse holds the title to a house that was purchased after the marriage, the home is still considered marital property.
There are some exceptions, as any inheritance or legacy that one spouse acquires during the marriage will be exempt from property division. Some other examples of non-marital property include the following:
- Property that a spouse acquires during the marriage through the exchange of property the spouse received prior to the marriage
- Property that has been outlined in a prenuptial agreement
- Property acquired through a judgment of legal separation
- The increased value of non-marital property
- Income generated from non-marital property
For the most part, anything acquired prior to a marriage is considered non-marital property. However, as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Illinois Chapter points out, there are some instances in which a judge could make an exception during property division. For example, if someone purchases a home in anticipation of a marriage, a judge could deem it marital property.
While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.