Martial and separate property during an Illinois divorce
The property that a person owns when they get married may be treated differently depending upon what it is and what purpose it may serve in the individual’s relationship. For example, while the individual’s car may be shared with their spouse and immediately retitled to demonstrate their joint ownership of it, the individual’s pre-marital savings account may stay under their name only and untouched by the parties, never being used for marital purposes. Property in Illinois may be considered marital or separate, and this distinction is important when that property must be divided up pursuant to a divorce.
Marital property is property that is owned by both of the parties to a marriage. It may be acquired by both of the spouses together, or as in the example above, it may be converted into martial property. Use, change of title and other methods of conversion may be undertaken by the parties to change properties’ status from separate to marital.
Separate property is property that is only owned by one of the spouses in a marriage. It may be property that was owned prior to the marriage or it may be property that was gifted or given to only one of the parties. In the event of a divorce, a person will generally take their separate property without it being subject to division.
Illinois recognizes the practice of equitable division, which means that the courts attempt to use fairness in the division of marital property between divorcing parties. Property division is a confusing part of securing a divorce in the state, and readers can always discuss their questions and concerns with their local family law attorneys.