What Is Marital Property?
Filing for divorce in DuPage County can be complicated and frustrating when you do not have the help of an experienced lawyer on your side, especially when it comes to the division of marital property. One of the most contentious issues in divorces is property division. Under Part V of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), marital property is divided according to a theory of division known as equitable distribution. This means that all marital property will be divided in a way that the court considers fair—but not necessarily equal—to both parties.
Yet in order to understand how the equitable distribution of marital property might work, it is essential to understand how the court classifies marital property.
Marital Versus Non-Marital Property in Illinois
How does the statute define marital property? The IMDMA says that marital property includes any property obtained by either spouse subsequent to the marriage. In other words, any property, whether it is an asset or a debt, that either of the spouses acquired after getting married is classified as marital property. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
The following types of property may be classified as non-marital or separate property, which means that they will not be subject to division:
- Property inherited by only one spouse;
- Property acquired by one spouse during the marriage in exchange for separate property;
- Property acquired by one spouse after a legal separation;
- Property designated as non-marital or separate property through a premarital or postnuptial agreement;
- Judgment obtained by one spouse from the other spouse;
- Property acquired before the marriage; and
- Increase in value from non-marital property that occurs during the marriage.
There may be other property that can be classified as non-marital property when it shares characteristics with the types of property listed above. You should always speak with an experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer if you have questions about whether certain property is divisible in a divorce.
Commingled Property and Its Classification
One of the more complicated issues concerning marital property is when it is commingled, or combined with, separate property. For example, one spouse has earnings in an account prior to the marriage, but during the marriage invests those earnings into a joint investment. In such situations, the property has both marital and non-marital characteristics.
What does the court do with commingled property? In some cases, the court will try to trace out the amount of non-marital versus marital property, but this can get very difficult. Your divorce lawyer can examine your assets and debts and can discuss options with you.
Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Divorce Lawyer Today
Classifying marital and non-marital property can be complicated, especially when assets have been commingled. If you need help with your divorce, you should speak with an experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer as soon as possible. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we can help to ensure that you obtain a fair property settlement in your divorce. We have years of experience assisting the Muslim community in DuPage County, and we can get started on your case today. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you.