Each state has laws addressing the division of marital property in a divorce. Most states, including Illinois, do not divide inheritance or gifts received by one party as separate property.
However, if spouses commingle marital and separate property, such as using an inheritance to make a down payment on a home where both spouse’s names are on the deed, they may run into complications.
When a spouse who owns separate property contributes it to marital property, the contributed property is transmuted to the estate receiving the contribution. So, put simply, contributed property is transformed into the type of property to which it was contributed.
Reimbursement for Separate Property Contributed to the Marital Estate
If you contributed a large sum of your separate property to purchase a home held in joint tenancy only to discover your marriage is ending, there is hope. There may be a right of reimbursement for the contributed property in a divorce in cases where the contribution is retraceable by clear and convincing evidence or was a gift.
Reimbursement also plays a role when one spouse contributes personal effort to the separate property of the other spouse during the marriage. Such things as routinely helping manage your spouse’s business or providing maintenance and repairs to his/her rental property, assuming they were owned by your spouse prior to your marriage or were inherited, may result in the value of those efforts being returned to the marital estate.
If you have questions regarding Illinois marital asset division in a divorce, contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell PC for assistance. Our experienced Libertyville Illinois family law team can provide you with information regarding divorce, property division, spousal maintenance, child custody and support. Email or call our office today at 847-495-6000.