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Will My Husband’s Large Inheritance Be a Factor During Our Divorce Proceedings?

 Posted on May 10, 2023 in Illinois Divorce

IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, the division of assets in a divorce follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning that marital assets are divided in a fair and just manner. When it comes to inheritance, matters become a little more complicated. An essential question that must be answered is whether inheritances are considered marital or non-marital property. Well, in the majority of cases, inheritances are treated as non-marital property, but not always. Discuss with your divorce attorney whether this inheritance is marital or non-marital property, as it will likely depend on a couple of key factors that you can discuss with your attorney.

Here is What to Know About Inheritances and Divorce

First, it is essential to identify the nature of the inheritance. Illinois law defines separate or non-marital- property as anything acquired before marriage, inherited or gifted to one spouse, kept separate from marital assets, or obtained through non-marital sources like personal injury settlements. Thus, if your husband inherited the money before your marriage, it is unlikely to be considered marital property unless he commingled it with marital funds. However, if he inherited the money during the marriage, there is a chance it may be subject to equitable distribution.

Let us discuss an example. Suppose your husband received a large inheritance of $40,000 before you became married. He then used that inheritance to use as a downpayment on a condominium for you and him to live in. For the next several years, you and your husband work to pay the condo off. As the years go by, you and your spouse decide to get divorced. In this case, the husband would not have a claim to the $40,000 he put into the condo since it was commingled with marital assets. However, the condo will likely be up for division since it was marital property during the marriage.

Are There Ways to Protect an Inheritance?

Yes. Returning to the previous example of the husband with the $40,000 inheritance. In this case, had the husband never mixed it with marital assets like helping to buy a marital property with the funds and kept the inheritance in an account only he had access to, the inheritance would have likely remained solely his. Furthermore, had the husband and his spouse signed into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and clearly stated the inheritance would not be commingled and that it would remain his in the event of a divorce, then the inheritance would have still been solely after the divorce was finalized.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

Contact the skilled Kane County divorce attorneys with Weiler & Associates, Inc. for legal assistance. Call 630-331-9110 for a private consultation.

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