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What is Commingled Property in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Property Division

dupage county divorce lawyerWhen any couple gets divorced in Illinois, one of the many issues they will have to address is how property will be divided between the two of them. The property division process can be taxing for many couples, especially if they cannot agree on how the property should be distributed. In some cases, issues can arise when one spouse does not agree with the marital and nonmarital property designations assigned to certain assets. Many couples have expensive and valuable assets, such as the family home, vehicles, and perhaps even a business or professional practice. Determining a correct designation for those assets is crucial to getting a fair distribution of marital property. However, determining what is and is not marital property is not always as clear-cut as you would think.

Determining Commingled Property

In Illinois, only marital property is included in the division process. This means that any property or debts you and/or your spouse acquired during your marriage is fair game, with a few exceptions. Property is considered nonmarital property acquired during the marriage if it was:

  • A gift given to you only

  • Acquired through legacy or descent

  • Acquired in exchange for property you acquired before the marriage

  • Property excluded from the marital estate by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

 Even if you acquire this property during the course of the marriage, it is still considered the personal property of the person who received it. 

When marital property and nonmarital property are mixed, they are considered to be “commingled.” If an asset loses its identity as nonmarital property, it becomes marital property. This means that both spouses are entitled to a portion of the commingled property’s value.

How Does Property Become Commingled?

Commingled property is not uncommon in divorce. There are many ways that something that was once nonmarital property can become marital property. One of the best examples of that is when there is a business involved. A spouse may have acquired the business prior to getting married, but the business likely increased in value throughout the marriage. The increase in value of the business is subject to division and would likely require the business owner to reimburse his or her spouse for that value.

Another example would be inheritance. If one spouse received a sum of money from a trust fund or inheritance and subsequently put that money into a joint bank account, it could be argued that the money is then the property of both spouses. You could also argue that anything purchased with the use of those funds would be considered marital property.

Our DuPage County Divorce Property Division Attorneys Are Here to Help

Even if an asset was originally considered nonmarital property, it can take on characteristics of marital property. If you are unsure of the designation of your assets, you should discuss your situation with a knowledgeable Wheaton, IL property division lawyer. The team at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. can help you classify your property so you receive a fair share of the marital estate. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 630-462-9500.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+V&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6100000&SeqEnd=8350000

 

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