What’s mine is yours. What’s yours is mine.
In some marriages people tend to share everything with their spouse. However, when it comes to divorce not everything is split 50/50. There is a difference between marital property and non-marital property.
In Illinois, the courts try to keep this area black and white, however, as with every law there are gray areas. Generally speaking marital property is everything obtained by the couple after the moment they say “I do.”
So if the couple purchases a vehicle after they are married it is considered marital property. However, if one of them owned their vehicle prior to the marriage then it is considered non-marital property. Easy enough.
But then there’s the scenario where one person owns a car before they marry, then sells the vehicle after they are married. Under the law, that cash would still be considered non-marital property. If the person goes and buys a computer with that cash the computer then becomes non-marital property.
However, if the money is deposited into a joint account then it transforms into marital property. This area can get a little gray, and having a good divorce attorney is key to fairly dividing property.
The same would go for rental properties one spouse owns. If the money from the rent is deposited into a joint marital account it is marital property.
Some couples choose a pre- or post-nuptial agreement. While they are completely legal and enforceable it can still be challenged in court. The court will always presume that property is either marital or non-marital. It is up to the parties to decide whether they agree with the court’s decisions.
Non-marital property cannot be divided, and should always go to the rightful owner. Likewise, any property obtained by a person while the divorce proceeding is ongoing could be considered marital property. A final “Judgment of Dissolution” is the only time when property stops being marital and non-marital.
Remember, always get an attorney in your jurisdiction before proceeding into discussion of property division during a divorce.
For more information on divorce, please feel free to contact The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.
Source: Cowell Taradash, P.C., “Marital property vs. non-marital property”