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Marital Property in Illinois

In Illinois, anything acquired during the marriage is marital property. Examples of marital property include the marital home, retirement accounts, and vehicles. Illinois is an equitable division state, so marital property does not have to be split evenly.

Marital property is property owned by both parties. This type of property is split during the property division phase of a divorce.

Marital property does not have to be split evenly, rather it is split equitably. This means the court splits the assets based on what each party deserves. The split could be 50/50, but it could also be 60/40, 70/30, or some other ratio. They decide how to split property based on the property division factors outlined in the Illinois state statutes.

How to Determine Marital Property in Illinois

An asset or debt is marital property if it was gained after the marriage but before the divorce date.[1] For example, if a couple buys a house together and uses it during the marriage, then it is a marital asset.

These defined lines make it easy to understand which assets and debts are part of the marital estate. However, non-marital assets can become marital assets.

Commingled Assets

If a non-marital asset becomes co-owned by both parties, it turns into a marital asset.[2] So, even if parties have separate finances, if a savings account was added to during the marriage, it is a marital asset.

Furthermore, even if the title of the asset only has one party’s name on it, it can still become a marital asset. Using the above example of a savings account, even if it is only in one party's name, it's still a marital asset.

Another example is if a party has a retirement account they created before the marriage. If they continue adding to it throughout the marriage, it becomes a marital asset. If the retirement account was not added to during the marriage, then it is a non-marital asset.

Examples of Marital Property

Some examples of assets that are commonly part of the marital estate include:

  • The Marital Home
  • Other Homes or Properties
  • Vehicles
  • Household Items
  • Savings Accounts
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Investments
  • Pensions
  • Life Insurance Policies

Though these are commonly marital assets, sometimes they can be non-marital assets. For example, if a party gained an inheritance and invested that money separately from the other party, those investments are likely not a marital asset.

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Illinois Dissipation of Marital Assets

If a spouse wastes, destroys, or hides assets, that is a dissipation of assets. This is illegal under Illinois law. If you suspect your spouse of this, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

An attorney knows the precautions and the necessary evidence to support a dissipation of assets claim. For this or any other divorce issue, contact Sterling Lawyers, LLC to meet with an attorney.

Is Illinois a Community Property State?

No, Illinois is not a community property state. Illinois is an equitable division of property state. This means they don’t split assets 50/50 down the middle. Instead, the court divides property based on each party's contribution and situation.

Is Everything I Earned During My Marriage Considered Marital Property in Illinois?

Yes, everything earned during marriage is marital property. There is room for nuance in this though. For example, if a non-marital asset increases in value, that increase is not a marital asset.[3]

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Illinois a community property state?

No, Illinois is not a community property state. Instead, Illinois is an equitable property state. This means that when the court has to divide property, they do it based on what they think is fair, not just 50/50 down the middle.

What is marital property in Illinois?

Marital property is property that was bought during the marriage or property that was shared during the marriage. For example, if parties bought a house together and lived in it during the marriage, that is marital property.

What is considered marital property in Illinois?

Things bought during the marriage are marital property. So often things like the house or cars or retirement accounts are marital property. However, this can get complicated because if one of those things was owned before the marriage, it may be a non-marital asset.

What is non-marital property?

Non-marital property is the opposite of marital property. It is anything that is not split in the property division stage of a divorce. Non-marital property includes anything acquired by gift or before the marriage.

Is a house owned before marriage marital property in Illinois?

Because property acquired before the marriage is non-marital property, a house owned before the marriage may not be marital property. However, if a non-marital asset is commingled, it will become marital property. Assets are commingled through shared use, so if the house is the marital home, it may be a marital asset.

References: 1. 750 ILCS § 5/503(a). Disposition of Property and Debts. | 2. 750 ILCS § 5/503(b)(1). | 3. 750 ILCS § 5/503(a)(8).

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