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The basics of marital and separate property in Illinois

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2021 | Divorce

When divorce proceedings begin, you may get confused about how the divorce will affect your assets. It is important to understand what types of property are separate and marital, as this often plays a role in divorce settlements.

What is marital property?

Marital property refers to the property that spouses acquire during their marriage. This can include money earned by either spouse as well as assets purchased with this income. Property bought with the intention of benefiting both parties equally may also fall into this category. A good example of this type of property is a house purchased by both spouses.

What is separate property?

Separate property is generally anything that spouses own before marriage, any inheritances they received during their marriage and any gifts or money given to one spouse specifically. An example of this type of property is a car given as a gift.

It is important to note that separate property can become marital if the spouses buy and develop it with joint funds. For instance, a house that was initially purchased with separate funds may become marital property if the spouses alter it significantly while they’re married.

Litigation is always a possibility

Litigation can become likely if the spouses fight over what is separate or marital property. In order to ensure that your divorce proceedings go smoothly, you should gather all the necessary information about your assets before beginning divorce proceedings.

It can be difficult to keep track of what types of property are marital and separate, especially if you’ve stayed together for many years or you own real estate together. Understanding the difference between these two types of property will help you during the divorce proceedings.