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Gifts and Inheritance in an Illinois Divorce


Speak With Our Chicago Attorneys About Dividing Assets

If you are currently entering into a divorce, or have plans to file for divorce in the near future, you undoubtedly have a number of concerns on your mind. Some of the more common questions that arise involve the division of assets; specifically, gifts and inheritances.

After all, if you were gifted a family heirloom or bequeathed a significant sum of money from your family's estate, you want to maintain control of said item. Therefore, it is imperative that you speak with a family law attorney with a strong track record of helping individuals keep what is rightfully theirs. The divorce attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP, have represented many people like you and are prepared to use all available resources to help you achieve your separation goals.

Dial (312) 332-2915 or submit your information online and a representative will contact you shortly to set up a meeting with Nottage and Ward, LLP.

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What’s the Difference Between Non-Marital and Marital Property in Chicago?

When it comes to questions over inheritance and gifts in a divorce, two key terms that you will become acquainted with are non-marital and marital property. Both terms speak to the same issue and can have a tremendous impact on how an asset will be divided. Non-marital property is distinctly yours and is determined by one or more of the following factors:

  • The property was owned by you prior to the finalization of either your current marriage or your upcoming divorce.
  • You inherited or were gifted the property.
  • The property in question was designated as separate through a pre- or postnuptial agreement.

Beyond these conditions, everything else is considered marital property and subject to an equitable division. Keep in mind, in the state of Illinois, equitable division does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split. Family courts will determine a "fair" division via a number of different factors.

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How Does This Affect My Gifts or Inheritance?

If your gift or inheritance is understood to be non-marital property, and clearly documented to indicate this fact, there should be no question as to who owns what. However, if at any point the gift or inheritance in question became "co-mingled" with your marital property, your spouse could call the ownership into question. This most often happens when a financial award or inheritance was deposited into a joint account, or when a family home that was either a gift, or part of an inheritance, became the home in which you and your spouse resided. In either situation, your spouse could contend that the item(s) in question became marital property the moment they were used for the good of both parties and your children.

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When Should I Speak With an Attorney?

We recommend contacting an attorney as soon as possible. Understanding your goals and thoroughly investigating your claim will make all the difference when it comes to securing what is rightfully yours. Contact Nottage and Ward, LLP, and schedule an appointment at our Chicago office by calling (312) 332-2915 today.

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