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Three Strategies to Protect Non-Marital Assets

Posted on in Criminal Law

joliet divorce lawyerIf you are considering a divorce in Illinois, you may be facing challenging decisions on the division of marital property. During an Illinois divorce, each spouse is entitled to a fair share, not necessarily an equal share, of the couple’s marital property. Before the division occurs, there are ways to keep certain non-marital assets out of this process. Non-marital assets are those that each spouse entered into the marriage with or was acquired as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. You can use three strategies, starting even before getting married, to protect your individual assets in a divorce case.

Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement 

Created before marriage, a prenuptial agreement can specify which assets will remain as non-marital property. A prenuptial agreement can be used by an individual spouse if they own their own business or have substantially more assets. Prenups may also be useful if both spouses bring significant assets into the marriage.  Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement defines spouses’ financial rights and responsibilities, but the agreement is entered into after the couple is married. 

Separate Financial Accounts 

By creating or maintaining separate bank accounts or investment accounts, you can keep assets that you consider non-marital assets separate from joint marital accounts. A different account can also be used to deposit proceeds if you sell individual assets during the marriage. If the proceeds from such a sale are deposited into a joint account, they could later be considered common marital assets.

Trusts 

By creating a trust or multiple trusts, you can keep current assets separate from joint marital assets and provide a place for any gifts or inheritance you receive during the marriage to be deposited. In Illinois law, a gift or inheritance must be given specifically to only one spouse and not commingled with the joint marital assets to be considered non-marital property.

No matter what strategy or combination of strategies you may decide on, you should maintain detailed financial records to keep track of all of your non-marital assets and the decisions you make both before and during your marriage. These records can help ensure your assets are protected during a divorce case. We understand the law and can help you with these sometimes complex financial and legal decisions.

Contact a Will County Divorce Lawyer

At Reeder & Brown, P.C., our dedicated Plainfield asset division lawyers will help you take steps before your marriage to protect your non-marital assets or help you defend them during the divorce process. Contact our office or call 815-885-5980 for your free consultation today.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

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