Wheaton divorce lawyerIn an Illinois divorce, all property and assets belonging to the marital estate must be distributed fairly between the two spouses. However, certain assets known as non-marital property are not included in the division. If you are preparing for a divorce, it is important to review your finances to identify any non-marital property that you can protect. However, the process of protecting your non-marital assets can begin even before your marriage.

Strategies for Protecting Non-Marital Property

Under Illinois law, non-marital property includes property that was owned by either spouse before the marriage, as well as property acquired by either spouse during the marriage through a gift or inheritance. However, even property of this nature can become a factor in the division of assets if you are not careful to keep it separate from the marital estate. Here are some strategies for protecting your non-marital assets both before and during your marriage:

  1. Create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. If you have substantial assets before getting married, you can ask your future spouse to work with you to create a prenup that specifies the assets that will remain non-marital property. You can also create a postnuptial agreement during the marriage that accomplishes the same purpose.

  2. Maintain a separate account. If you have a personal bank account or investment account before your marriage and you want the assets to continue to be non-marital property, you should be sure to keep that account completely separate from any accounts you share with your spouse. Keep in mind that income you earn during the marriage is typically considered to be marital property, and if you deposit it into your own personal account, the account could lose its non-marital status.

  3. Place your assets in a trust. Funding a trust with non-marital assets can provide additional protection when it comes to keeping them separate from the marital estate, and it can also have substantial estate planning benefits. If you expect to receive assets through an inheritance or gift, you can also ask the grantor to establish a trust rather than leaving it to you in a will or simply giving it to you. However, distributions from a trust could lose non-marital status if they are commingled with marital property.

  4. Keep thorough records. Regardless of any other strategies you use, maintaining detailed financial records of your non-marital assets is crucial to ensure that you have the evidence you need to protect your property in the event of a divorce.

Contact a DuPage County Property Division Attorney

Whether you want to take precautionary steps to protect your non-marital assets, or you need strong legal representation to protect them during the divorce process, the experienced Wheaton, IL divorce lawyers at Davi Law Group can help. Contact us today at 630-580-6373 for a free consultation.




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