Illinois Divorce Law Primer: When Marital Property is “Transmuted”

Property settlements tend to be one of the most complex areas of Illinois divorces. The division of marital assets is often highly emotional and has long-lasting consequences for the partners involved.

The division of marital property is typically controlled by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

The Act generally carves out property acquired before marriage from the marital estate. This means that things which you owned before the marriage cannot be taken by your spouse during a divorce.

That is, unless these items have been “transmuted.”

When Illinois Property is Transmuted into a Marital Estate

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “transmuted” means “to completely change the form, appearance, or nature of something.”

Under Illinois law, property that who acquired prior to a marriage can be transmuted, or changed, into marital property under certain circumstances.

Generally nonmarital property is transmuted when it is comingled or otherwise mixed into a marital estate for the purposes of reimbursement or there other evidence that of an intention that the nonmarital property was intended to be gifted to the marital estate.

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