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Could Your Spouse be Entitled to Your Premarital Property in a Divorce?

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Property and asset division is often one of the most contested issues in a divorce case. The law requires that everything earned, acquired, or otherwise accumulated during your marriage be divided on an equitable basis. In general, real estate, businesses, or other items you obtained prior to saying “I do” are immune from divorce proceedings. However, there are certain situations in which your spouse may be legally entitled to a share.  

Marital Versus Non-Marital Property in Divorce

The Illinois Statutes provide guidelines for divorce and one of the areas of most concern to many couples is the rights to property and assets. Marital property is generally considered anything you acquired after your wedding and before filing for divorce. This includes: 

  • Homes, land, vacation properties, and other real estate;
  • Household furnishings and other belongings;
  • Cars, motorcycles, boats, or other recreational vehicles;
  • Jewelry, furs, and other personal items;
  • Antiques, artwork, and other collectibles;
  • Money in checking, savings, or other financial accounts;
  • Investments, pension plans, and retirement accounts;
  • Businesses you own, either individually or as a partnership. 

You will be required to list all of these items in a financial affidavit, which is submitted to the court. Based on individual factors in your case, such as the length of the marriage and each person’s individual income or assets, the judge will divide all marital property in a way that is considered fair to both parties involved. Anything you acquired prior to getting married is generally considered non-marital property and exempt. 

When Your Spouse Has a Right to Premarital Property

In some situations, your spouse may be able to claim a share of homes, cars, money in accounts, or other non-marital property you possess. This generally occurs in the following types of situations: 

Where you put your partner’s name on the title of something you purchased prior to your marriage, such as a home or car;

  • When you gifted ownership of an item that was formerly pre-marital property, such as a family heirloom;
  • When they contributed to making payments on an item you purchased previously, such as paying off outstanding title loans;
  • When they contributed their time, talents, or money in maintaining or adding to the property, such as putting an addition on your house or helping you with a business. 

Get Legal Guidance From Our Chicago Divorce Attorney

In matters pertaining to property rights, the Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group can help ensure your rights are protected. Contact our Chicago divorce attorneys and schedule a consultation to discuss your specific situation today.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.

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Contact Information

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office
Fax:312-283-8636
Lake Forest Office
Fax:312-283-8636
Lisle Office
Fax:312-283-8636
Lake Forest Office

100 Saunders Rd.
Suite 150

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Lisle Office

3333 Warrenville Rd.
Suite 200

Lisle, IL 60532

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77 W. Wacker Drive
45th Floor

Chicago, IL 60601

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