Determining what is marital property in Illinois

A Cook County divorce is similar to the dissolution of a business relationship. Aside from the issues of child and spousal support, the division of property can be one of the most complex and time-consuming aspects of the divorce process.

Generally items that are purchased prior to marriage, but in contemplation of marriage are considered marital property.

When determining whether something acquired before marriage is marital property, courts look at the “totality of the circumstances” and consider factors such as:

  • The proximity of time between the acquisition of the property and the marriage.
  • Whether the equity in the property was acquired with joint money (marital funds).
  • Evidence that the couple tended to use the property jointly (such as a marital home)
  • Whether both of the spouse’s names appear on the offer sheet or title of the property.

The way that courts weigh and consider these factors can be heavily influenced by the persuasiveness of your attorney, so it is important to consult with an experienced Cook County divorce attorney as early in the divorce and asset division process as possible.

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