Dividing marital assets in a divorce can be relatively straightforward or complex depending on the circumstances of the case. A common disagreement between spouses occurs when determining whether an asset is owned jointly or individually, which starts by looking at
- when an asset was acquired – before or after marriage?
- whether the property was inherited or gifted to only one spouse
- if separate property was commingled with marital property during the marriage
- whether there a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement
Marital property includes assets and debt that you, your spouse, or both of you, acquired during the marriage. Inheritance and gifts given to one spouse or assets acquired prior to marriage are considered separate property.
However, an asset that is not marital property can become marital property if it is mixed or commingled with marital property. An example of this might include one spouse plunking money they inherited from a family member into a joint account; the commingled funds and anything purchased with them would become marital property subject to division in a divorce.
Another example might include a situation where a small businesses owned by one spouse prior to marriage is subject to division in a divorce to the extent that the business increased in value during the marriage or because a spouse helped out with the business making it profitable. Lacking a prenuptial agreement designating the business as separate property, some or all of the business may be divided as marital property.
Understanding what is and is not commingled marital property subject to division in an Illinois divorce is key to avoid financial missteps. It is important to work complex marital asset division attorney to ensure the most favorable outcome. Contact Ronald L Bell & Associates PC for immediate assistance at 847-495-6000.