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Property Division

Illinois law on division of property during a divorce

Division of property during a divorce can be quite hectic for couples without an idea about the Illinois laws pertaining to this matter or an idea of the value of your assets and debts. If you are currently involved in divorce proceedings with your spouse, use this information to learn how to divide property according to Illinois law.

What is marital property?

The nature of the property or the title in question might determine whether the property is marital or non-marital. By definition, marital property is property acquired by either of the two spouses while they are married together with their individual or joint income. In this case, it is irrelevant to consider the title on the property. Of course, the list is very exhaustive.

Homes (vacation or residential)


Stock options


Retirement plans and pensions

Brokerage, investment and bank accounts

Note:  The nature of the property or the title in question might determine whether the property is marital or non-marital.  For instance, if a retirement plan is under one spouse, it is subject to equal division if it was acquired during the marriage.

Non-Marital Property

Non-marital property according to Illinois law can be defined as the following:

Any property acquired by either spouse as a legacy, inheritance or gift

Any property exchanged for another property acquired by any of the means mentioned above or for property acquired before the marriage

Property acquired by the spouse after legal separation has been granted

Property excluded from division if the two parties have signed a legal agreement (prenuptial agreement)

If judgment on the dissolution of the marriage results in property being awarded to either spouse

If the property was acquired by either spouse before the marriage

Any increase in the value of property by any of the methods mentioned above

Any income from property acquired by any of the above methods especially if the income cannot be attributed to the personal effort of anyone in the marriage

"Thank you for your work on my case all these years. And I did get my fair share of everything, although there were certainly many bumps along the way. Free at last, free at last -thank God Almighty I’m free at last! I know, a bit dramatic ... So thanks for all and blessing on you and your family."

– Vicki

Protect what is rightfully yours

As mentioned above, a good example of non-marital property is inheritance.
Therefore, if a spouse inherits money before or during the marriage and chooses to keep it in a self-titled account, this is outright non-marital property. It is good to know that in some cases, some actions might deem non-marital property to be marital, but it is entirely dependent on the actions of the owner. This is referred to as transmutation.  The law regarding this particular aspect might be very complex and that is why it is important to seek legal counsel, such as Attorney Faye M. Lyon, in the event of such issues.

Attorney Faye M. Lyon is well-versed in the Illinois divorce law to avoid any further complications during the dissolution of the marriage.

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