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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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Hinsdale divorce lawyer credit scoreDivorce can often have a large impact on your finances. With attorney’s fees, filing fees, court costs, and the asset division process, costs can add up quickly. This is why it is so important to protect your finances during and after your divorce. Many people who are considering ending their marriage may wonder how their divorce will affect their credit score. Having decent credit is extremely important, especially when you are starting your new life as a single person. While getting a divorce will not automatically affect your credit score, there are ways a divorce can be detrimental to it. Here are a few tips on protecting your credit score during and after your divorce:

  • Close all of your joint accounts as soon as possible. This should be one of your first steps in protecting your finances during a divorce. If you have any type of joint accounts with your spouse -- whether those are checking or savings accounts or credit cards -- you should close them in a timely manner to protect yourself. Even if your credit card debt is allocated to your spouse, you will still be held legally responsible for repaying that debt unless you remove your name from the account.

  • Keep paying all of your bills, even if you do not think you should have to. It is very important that you keep paying all of your bills during your divorce, or you could see your credit score start to drop. Until you separate all of your accounts, you must keep making payments on your joint accounts, or both you and your spouse will suffer a drop in your credit score. Even if you just make the minimum payments on things such as credit cards and auto loans, you will be in a much better position than if you did not pay.

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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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Oak Brook marital property division attorney

Most of the decisions you make during your divorce can and probably will affect you for the rest of your life, but one of the most important decisions you and your spouse must come to is how you will divide your marital estate. For many couples, this can be an emotional and highly contentious process because of the importance placed on their belongings and the need to have financial security after the divorce process has been completed. The way marital property is divided can affect a person’s financial stability or even their ability to retire later in life. With so much at stake, Illinois courts urge couples to try to come to an agreement on their own about property division, though, if they cannot, they will have to take the issue to court.

Factors for Consideration

If a couple is unable to reach an agreement about how their marital estate will be divided, they will have to appear before a judge so that he or she can make a determination for them. If this happens, the judge will only make decisions about marital property, or any property that was acquired after the couple was legally married but before a judgment of legal separation was entered. The judge will consider a variety of factors, including:

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