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What makes something non-martial property?

| Dec 16, 2019 | Family Law |

During the property division phase of your divorce proceedings in Illinois, you will have to identify marital and non-marital assets. This process may seem straightforward, but there are some exceptions to the general rules. Understanding the details of what makes something marital or non-marital can help as you prepare for this phase of your divorce.

The Illinois General Assembly explains that the court will split marital property whereas non-marital property remains with whoever owns it. In general, marital property is anything you bought during the marriage, and non-marital property is anything you had before the marriage. However, there are exceptions to these general rules.

Non-marital property may also include inheritances, gifts and judgement awards. You may also exclude anything from being marital property through a valid prenuptial agreement.

However, this separate property may become marital property. If you intermingle the property in any way with your marital assets, then it may become marital property. Using non-marital property as collateral to obtain marital property may also change its status.

Typically, any income earned during the marriage is property of both of you. Therefore, anything you buy with that income or anything you use that money for is marital property. This includes making repairs or investing money into a non-marital asset. Interest earned on property during marriage may also become a marital asset. Plus, marital and non-marital property also includes debts, which, like property, can change classification during your marriage.

Keep in mind that the court has the final say in classifying assets. This information is for education and is not legal advice.