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


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

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Is My Spouse Entitled to a Portion of My Inheritance if We Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County asset division attorney

There are many things that you share with your spouse when you are married. For some people, one of the most stressful parts of divorce is figuring out what you and your spouse have to do to finalize the legal process and disentangle your finances. Before you start dividing up your assets and debts, you and your spouse must determine which of your assets are considered marital property and which assets will remain personal, non-marital property. In cases in which one spouse receives an inheritance during the marriage, the inheritance is usually considered to be non-marital property and resides with the spouse to whom it was given. However, this may not always be the case, so it is important to understand how these types of assets are handled in an Illinois divorce.

Marital and Non-Marital Property

In the state of Illinois, there is a distinction between marital and non-marital property. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, anything that a couple acquires during the marriage is considered to be marital property, aside from a few exceptions. One of those exceptions includes “property acquired by gift, legacy, or descent,” and inheritances fall into this category. In these instances, inheritances are typically not included in the marital estate alongside other property that is subject to division. With that being said, there are still some situations in which inheritance might still be subject to division during a divorce.

Commingling of Inheritance

One of the most common reasons why someone might find that a portion of their inheritance is assigned to their former spouse is because an inheritance is considered to have both marital and non-marital characteristics. An inheritance may be considered marital property because of the way it was handled when it was received. Many married couples have combined finances, such as bank accounts and other assets. If a spouse kept his or her inheritance money in a joint bank account, for example, the funds may lose their non-marital designation and be subject to division upon divorce. This is especially true if both spouses are allowed to make withdrawals from the account without the approval of both parties.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney 

While it is true that divorce is an emotional undertaking, it is first and foremost a complicated legal process that can be tricky to navigate. If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, and you have questions about gifts or inheritance that you received during the divorce, you should talk with a skilled Aurora property division lawyer who is knowledgeable about the asset distribution process. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we have been helping couples through their divorces for more than 15 years. If you have any questions about your rights to marital property or assets, call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.




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


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

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