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Can Nonmarital Property Become Marital Property During a Divorce?

Posted on in Division of Property

Batavia divorce attorney asset division

One of the biggest areas of concern for couples during a divorce is the asset division process. Many people have questions about how their property will be divided upon divorce, especially as it pertains to expensive assets such as a home or a small business. Like most states, Illinois only considers the property that each spouse acquired during the marriage to be the property that is subject to division during divorce. In most cases, determining what is marital and nonmarital property is fairly cut-and-dried; however, there are situations in which nonmarital property can lose its individual identity. 

Distinguishing Between Marital and Nonmarital Property

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) states that only marital property is subject to division during divorce. Marital property includes any assets or debts that either spouse acquired during the marriage, with a few exceptions. These exceptions include:

  • Any assets acquired through gift, legacy or descent, or assets acquired in exchange for such property.

  • Any asset acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage.

  • Property acquired by either spouse after a judgment of legal separation.

  • Any property that has been excluded as marital property by an agreement of the parties, such as in a prenuptial agreement.

How Can Property Become Commingled?

In some cases, it is not so clear as to which assets are marital property and which assets are nonmartial property. Though it may not seem like a huge issue, correctly classifying your assets is an important step in ensuring there is a fair distribution of assets between you and your spouse. It is not uncommon for nonmarital assets to lose their individual identity and take on characteristics of marital property -- this is typically referred to as commingled property.

For example, a family home can become a commingled asset if the home was purchased prior to the marriage but the mortgage payments have been paid using marital funds. Retirement accounts are also often considered to be commingled assets, as many times they are funded with marital funds.

Speak to Our Kane County Divorce Attorney Today 

In some cases, the property division process during a divorce can be simple. In other cases, dividing assets can be much more difficult when commingled assets are involved. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we have helped countless clients find solutions for their property division disagreements. To schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable St. Charles divorce lawyer, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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