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What assets can you protect from division in an Illinois divorce?

Couples share bank accounts, houses and even credit card bills with one another during marriage, which means they have to share them in a divorce. Splitting your property and your debts can be a real challenge at the end of a marriage.

In Illinois, much of what you own and owe to others will be part of your marital estate. Those assets and debts will be subject to equitable distribution in your divorce proceedings. However, there are certain belongings and accounts that aren’t at risk of division in a litigated divorce.

What property doesn’t get divided in an Illinois divorce?

Your separate property has legal protection

Illinois law is clear that spouses do not need to divide their separate property when they divorce. Items that you inherit or receive as gifts are separate property that you don’t have to divide. Assets that you owned before you got married and those that you acquired after separating from your spouse are also your separate property. A similar approach impacts the division of debts.

However, there is the constant risk of commingling, which might make some of your separate property marital property. Giving your spouse a debit card to the bank account you funded before you got married or adding their name to the title of a property you inherited from your grandparents might mean that they do have a claim to those assets in court.

The only way to be certain of what property is separate and what you will have to split is to review your financial records carefully. Learning more about issues affecting high-asset divorces in Illinois will make preparing a little bit easier.