How Are Commingled Assets Handled in an Illinois Divorce?

commingled, Arlington Heights divorce attorneysIf you are considering divorce, you probably have many questions about how your property and debt will be divided between you and your spouse. In Illinois, divorcing couples have the option to negotiate their own distribution of property, but if they cannot reach an agreement, the court divides property. Illinois uses a method called equitable distribution to fairly divide marital or shared property. However, significant complications can arise when determining what property is marital and what is separate or non-marital property. Assets that are commingled or mixed may be counted entirely as either separate or marital property.

Differentiating Between Separate and Marital Property

In an Illinois divorce, only the marital estate is subject to division. Separate property is not divided and instead is assigned to the original owner. The determination of what is separate property and what is marital property is not always easy. Separate property generally includes property which a person already owned when he or she entered into the marriage, as well as inheritances and certain gifts. Maritial property includes assets and debts accumulated by either spouse during the course of the marriage. Issues can arise, however, when separate and marital property are mixed.

Commingled Funds in a Divorce

The property distribution process can get markedly complex – especially in high net-worth divorces. Many of the most contentious disputes in divorces involve disagreements about whether certain assets should be labeled marital or separate. For example, cash inheritance that a spouse receives when a relative passes away is separate property and not subject to division during divorce. However, this property can be “transmuted,” or changed, into marital property depending on what is done with the inheritance funds afterward. If the recipient of the inheritance deposits the money into a joint bank account, this inheritance may be considered part of the marital estate and subject to division during divorce. On the other hand, if a spouse uses his or her inheritance money to purchase another asset, such as a car, then this car would likely be considered non-marital property during divorce. Under Illinois law, the spouse claiming that a certain asset is non-marital has the burden of proving his or her case. It may require a thorough investigation of financial records or even help from expert witnesses to meet this burden of proof.

Contact a Rolling Meadows, Illinois Divorce Attorney

At Cosley Law Office, our experienced team has more than two decades of family law experience, and we are prepared to work hard on your behalf. For help with your Illinois divorce, contact a qualified Arlington Heights property division lawyer at our firm today. Schedule a free, confidential consultation by calling our offices at 847-253-3100.



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