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What Is Considered Non-Marital Property in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on October 07, 2020 in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles divorce attorney property division

Arguments over finances are a contributing factor in many divorces, and when money is already a contested issue, it can be concerning to consider that you and your spouse will have to divide your assets and debts as part of your divorce resolution. However, you may find it reassuring that not all property belonging to you or your spouse is subject to division. In Illinois, anything that is considered non-marital property will most likely stay with the person to whom it belongs.

Identifying Non-Marital Property

While you might take comfort in knowing that you can hold onto your non-marital property during your divorce, it can be a challenge to determine which assets and debts are considered non-marital. Under Illinois law, properties that are often defined as non-marital include:

  • Properties acquired by either spouse before the marriage, as well as properties obtained in exchange for these

  • Properties acquired by either spouse after a legal separation

  • Properties designated as non-marital in a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

  • Properties acquired by one spouse through a gift or inheritance during the marriage

  • Increases in value and passive income earned from non-marital property during the marriage

Despite these clarifications, separating non-marital and marital property is not always straightforward. For example, assets contributed to a retirement account before the marriage are usually considered non-marital, but those contributed during the marriage are usually considered marital even if the account is only in one spouse’s name, so it is important to keep detailed records of all contributions to maintain as much of your savings as possible. Active income earned from a non-marital business may also be considered marital property, especially if the other spouse contributed to the business’s success.

Managing the Division of Property During Your Illinois Divorce

Before beginning the process of dividing marital assets, you should make every effort to identify and document all properties that may be non-marital, and consider consulting with an experienced attorney to make sure you have solid legal grounds to claim sole ownership. Then, you should identify your priorities regarding any remaining marital property. Illinois requires an equitable distribution rather than a definitive 50/50 split, and if you and your spouse are willing and able to cooperate, you can negotiate for an agreement that allows you both to maintain assets that are important to you for personal or financial reasons.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Getting a divorce can involve many decisions regarding your finances and property. Often, your best chance of achieving your desired outcome in a divorce is to enter the process fully prepared. At Weiler & Associates, Inc., we can help you prepare yourself when it comes to identifying non-marital property and understanding all other aspects of the divorce process, and we will be your advocate from start to finish. Call our qualified St. Charles property division attorneys today at 630-382-8050 to schedule a private consultation.


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