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Will My Spouse Get Part of My Inheritance After Our Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Asset Division

Naperville IL marital property division attorneyGetting a divorce often makes people feel like they are diving into the great unknown. From the moment you and your spouse make the decision to split up, there are many changes that should be anticipated. Some of the biggest changes that take place during a divorce have to do with your finances and how your assets are distributed. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) states that each spouse is supposed to get an equitable share of the marital estate, which may not always work out to be an equal share. However, when it comes to certain assets, such as those obtained through an inheritance or family wealth, property division can become tricky because each situation is different from the next.

Determining Your Marital and Non-Marital Property

Prior to actually dividing any of your property, your attorney will want to determine which of your properties are marital assets and which are non-marital assets.  According to the IMDMA, in general, any asset acquired by either spouse prior to the marriage is considered to be non-marital property that is not subject to division during a divorce. Any asset that is acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered to be marital property, which is subject to division during a divorce. There are a few exceptions to the marital property rule, however. Assets that are obtained during a marriage can be considered non-marital property if the asset:

  • Was given as a gift, acquired by legacy or descent, or acquired in exchange for such property

  • Was acquired in exchange for property that was acquired prior to the marriage

  • Was acquired after a judgment of legal separation

  • Is excluded as marital property by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

Who Has Rights to an Inheritance?

When it comes to any assets that either you or your spouse own, there is a chance that the asset could change from having only non-marital characteristics to having both marital and non-marital characteristics. This is referred to as commingling of marital property, and it is actually very common. Many married couples have integrated finances, such as joint bank accounts, joint credit cards, both names on a mortgage, and more. This can be convenient, but it can also mean that you combine marital and non-marital assets without even realizing it. This can be especially troublesome for situations involving an inheritance that has been deposited into a joint bank account, especially if your spouse does not need your signature to make withdrawals. Your inheritance would then have taken on qualities of both non-marital and marital property. 

Contact Our Wheaton, IL Property Division Attorneys

If you have received a sizable inheritance or you expect to receive one in the near future, the process of allocating your property during your divorce may be more difficult than you previously thought. When there are large assets such as inheritances or family wealth involved, you need help from a knowledgeable DuPage County property division lawyer. At the Goostree Law Group, our team of attorneys has more than 80 years of combined family law experience ready to be put to use for you and your family. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-364-4046.




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