Division of property is often one of the most consequential aspects of a divorce. Spouses have worked hard to acquire the property they own, and they understandably do not want this property to be divided unfairly. Typically, high-value assets and complex assets like family businesses, real estate, investments, and stocks are more difficult to value and accurately address during divorce than simpler assets. Property division is made even more complicated when marital assets and nonmarital assets are commingled, or mixed. If you have concerns about how your property will be divided during divorce, speak with an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible to receive guidance customized for your particular situation.
Property Is Divided According to Equitable Distribution in Illinois
During divorce, spouses have the option of determining their own property division arrangements. This is often accomplished through negotiation, mediation, or collaborative law. However, in some situations, spouses cannot reach an agreement about property without help from the courts. In Illinois, courts divide property according to a method called “equitable distribution.” Property is divided fairly based on the duration of the marriage, provisions made for the spouses’ children, each spouse’s contributions to the marital estate, the spouses’ income and employability, and other factors.
Differentiating Between Marital and Nonmarital Property
Only marital property is divided by Illinois courts in a divorce. Separate property, also called nonmarital property, is assigned to the spouse who originally owned the property. Generally, marital property includes any assets that were purchased or acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Assets that a spouse owned before getting married and property obtained through gift or inheritance are typically classified as nonmarital property and are therefore not divided.
However, there are many situations in which nonmarital property can be converted into marital property. For example, if a party had $10,000 in a savings account before getting married, these funds are nonmarital. However, if the spouse transferred these funds into a joint savings account that was used by both spouses throughout the marriage, the funds would likely become marital property. When marital and nonmarital property is commingled, the assistance of a forensic accountant may be necessary to determine how to divide assets or address ownership of different types of property.
Contact a Wheaton Property Division Attorney
When marital assets and nonmarital assets are commingled, figuring out which spouse is entitled to which assets can be challenging. If you have concerns about how your assets and debts will be divided during your divorce, contact The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. Our DuPage County divorce lawyers have extensive experience helping divorcing spouses resolve property division concerns, and we can help you reach a divorce settlement that meets your needs. Schedule a confidential consultation by calling our office at 630-462-9500 today.