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What are Considered Marital Assets?

Closeup of male hand signing divorce papers with Cook County divorce attorney while determining marital assets.

Getting divorced in Illinois means that you will also need to go through the process of property division. Under Illinois law, all property owned by the spouses will need to be classified as separate property or marital property, and then all marital property will need to be divided between the parties according to the theory of equitable distribution. As part of the equitable distribution of all marital property, the court will consider a variety of factors to decide what a fair division of the marital property should be based on the circumstances of the parties. The decision about how to divide marital property is made on a case-by-case basis and is tailored to the spouses who are getting divorced. Marital property includes both assets and debts from the marriage. 

When courts are classifying and dividing marital assets and debts, what are the parameters for determining what constitutes marital property? Our Illinois divorce lawyers can provide you with more information about what assets are likely to be classified as marital property.

Property Acquired After the Date of the Marriage Unless an Exception Applies

Generally speaking, under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), all assets acquired after the date of the marriage and prior to the separation will be classified as marital assets unless one of the following exceptions applies:

  • Asset is expressly excluded through an enforceable premarital agreement;
  • Asset was inherited by only one of the spouses during the marriage; or
  • Asset was given to only one of the spouses by a third party as a gift during the marriage.

There may be other limited circumstances in which an asset acquired after the date of the marriage will be considered separate property as opposed to marital property. However, you should assume that anything obtained after the date of the marriage will be a marital asset unless there is an exception.

Commingled Property

Sometimes marital and separate assets become mixed, or commingled. In most cases the court will trace out separate and marital assets, but sometimes the assets are so mixed that they could be classified as marital property.

Hidden Assets

Just because a spouse does not disclose a particular asset in the divorce case does not mean that it cannot be tracked down and properly classified as marital property. When spouses get divorced in Illinois, they are required to identify all assets so that the court can determine which of those assets should be classified as marital and which as separate assets. In some cases, a spouse might realize that an asset is likely to be classified as marital property and might try to conceal it by transferring it, for example. Hidden and concealed assets can be located with help from a forensic accountant, and they can then be properly classified as marital assets and subsequently divided in the divorce.

Seek Advice From an Illinois Divorce Lawyer Today

When you are going through a divorce in Illinois, it is critical to have an experienced Chicago divorce attorney on your side. Our firm regularly represents clients in Cook County, Lake County, and DuPage County. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more about identifying, classifying, and dividing marital assets in a divorce. Contact Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group for more information. 

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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Fax:312-283-8636
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Fax:312-283-8636
Lake Forest Office

100 Saunders Rd.
Suite 150

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Suite 200

Lisle, IL 60532

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