Dividing marital property is one of the challenges for any couple going through a divorce. Simply identifying marital property can prove to be an arduous process, due to the complexities of the law in Illinois and the way in which many married couples maintain their household finances. A large number of couples may find themselves dealing with commingled property, without even realizing how they got to that point.
Illinois law provides that any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered part of the marital estate, except property that was acquired through gift, legacy, or descent. The law also creates exceptions for assets received in exchange for (e.g. proceeds from selling) non-marital property, whether the original property was a gift, inheritance, or acquired before the marriage. While the law attempts to be fairly straightforward, the realities of many marriages make things considerably more complicated.
What’s Mine Is Yours
Not every couple will do so, but many, if not most, people enter a marriage with the expectation of completely sharing a life together. They are not considering the possibility of the marriage ending at some point, and, thus, are perfectly willing to combine assets and property. This usually includes property that was owned prior to the marriage, which according to the laws governing divorce would be non-marital property....