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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

DuPage County | 630-852-9700

Mokena | 815-727-6144   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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Hinsdale property division lawyer for inheritances
An inheritance is something that you receive when a loved one passes away. Though this is a solemn event, an inheritance can sometimes provide you with a bit of financial security. If you are married or plan on getting married, this can pose a unique situation if you were to get a divorce. Because many married couples have shared finances, one of the biggest parts of divorce is determining how to divide assets and debts. In Illinois, this process is done in an equitable manner, which does not necessarily mean that both spouses will come out of the divorce with half of the marital estate. A variety of factors are weighed to determine what is equitable, including each spouse’s income and earning potential, the duration of the marriage, and each spouse’s non-marital property in relation to the marital property. So, what does all of this mean for a spouse who has received an inheritance?

Understanding Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

Before your property can be divided, you must determine which of your property is non-marital and which of it is considered marital property. In general, any assets or debts that you have acquired during the time that you were married is considered to be part of the marital estate. This means that this property is subject to division during the divorce process. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, and inheritances are one of them. As per Illinois law, any property acquired by gift, legacy or descent is exempt from being considered marital property.

Keeping Your Inheritance Separate

Even though an inheritance is technically non-marital property, there are ways in which it can have both marital and non-marital characteristics. If this happens, then your inheritance could be considered part of the marital estate and subject to division between you and your spouse. For example, if you received a cash inheritance, and you deposited that money into an account that you share with your spouse, it could be considered part of the marital estate.

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Lombard divorce lawyer for marital homes

If you are one of the lucky people who gets to live out the American dream by buying and owning your own home, you know how rewarding it can be to have a place of your own. When you are married, real estate property becomes more than a house -- it becomes a home. Dealing with your family home can be one of the toughest decisions you will make when dividing your property during your divorce. In many cases, the family home is the most valuable asset a couple owns, both financially and sentimentally.

For the most part, three basic options exist when it comes to dealing with your marital home. You and your spouse can choose to sell the home, one of you can keep the home, or you can both keep the home. Each family situation is unique, so what may be right for one family may not necessarily be right for another. 

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  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • West Suburban Bar Association
  • Northwest Suburban Bar Association
  • Will County Bar Association
  • DuPage County Bar Association
  • Lake County Bar Association
  • Kane County Bar Association

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