Divorcing is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. According to the American Psychology Association, divorce is one of the major life events that can have serious psychological implications on both parties. Most divorces, of course, come from an already-stressful marriage. With all sorts of new challenges, such as division of property, the dueling couple might feel completely overwhelmed with the idea of separation. If you’re going through a divorce, there are some important Illinois laws regarding division of property to keep in mind.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, in Illinois, "if property was acquired during the marriage there is a presumption that the property is marital." This means that even if the property is solely in your spouse’s name, it’s still considered to be jointly owned. If property was a gift, was acquired before the marriage or after a legal separation, however, it’s not considered to be jointly owned. These, of course, are important exceptions to keep in mind before even considering divorce.

Another important asset division concept pertinent to keep in mind before filing for divorce is the issue of inheritance. If one spouse receives an inheritance during the marriage, if he or she mingles this inheritance in joint funds or invests it in joint property, the inheritance is considered part of the marital estate, and no longer considered individual property.

A marriage is intended to be a partnership in which marital and "non-marital" assets are mingled. It’s possible to recover individual property or assets that have been mingled in the marital estate, but—like divorce—it’s a complicated process. For these and other property division issues during a divorce, it’s imperative to have an experienced professional on your side. Contact a Chicago-area divorce attorney today.

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