One of the most complex parts of a divorce is the division of property. This is because the law has specific ideas about what is marital property and what is not. As you prepare for your divorce, it is a good idea to become familiar with the law in Illinois in regards to property classification and division.
The Illinois General Assembly explains most property you and your spouse own is marital property. However, there are exceptions. To begin with, if you have a prenuptial agreement that excludes certain property, then whatever the agreement dictates stands. For example, if you have a prenuptial agreement that says your spouse retains sole ownership to a home he or she bought before the marriage, then that home is not considered marital property in the divorce.
Beyond that, anything you acquired after your legal separation or that you received in exchange for property you owed before your marriage is also exempt. This applies to any property that you or your spouse acquired after your marriage but through only the exchange of property that is exempt as marital property. Anything you received as part of a court judgement or anything you inherited is also not marital property.
Of course, the court holds all final decision-making power. If the court believes something is marital property, then it can treat it as such as long as it can prove a legal basis for doing so. This information is educational only, and it is not provided as legal advice.