CHICAGO DIVORCE LAWYER PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
Illinois divorce property settlement – If you are looking for a Chicago divorce attorney to help you obtain the best divorce property settlement, attorney Brian J. Thompson is here to help. He represents parties in divorce and family law matters in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs, including Cook County, DuPage County, Will County and Lake County. If you are looking for a divorce attorney who will represent your interests and can explain the division of property in an Illinois divorce we are here to help.
Separate property is property that was acquired prior to the marriage or during the marriage by separate gift or inheritance. Marital property is property that was acquired during the marriage and not by separate gift or inheritance.
Under Illinois divorce law, the distinction between separate property and marital property is very important because separate property is not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce case and remains the property of the spouse to whom it belongs.
Marital property in divorce, on the other hand, is subject to equitable distribution without regard to marital misconduct considering all relevant factors, including the contribution of each party, dissipation of property by each party, duration of the marriage, premarital agreement, age, health, earning ability, and tax consequences.
ILLINOIS EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION CASES
Residence Purchased Prior to the Marriage With Nonmarital Funds was Marital Property.
In In re the Marriage of Weisman, 2011 IL App (1st) 101856, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s finding that a home purchased prior to the marriage with husband’s nonmarital funds was his nonmarital property. The evidence showed that husband had purchased a home in Chicago prior to the marriage. He paid over $1 million towards the property from his nonmarital funds prior to the marriage. The remaining $530,000 was paid through a mortgage that he obtained during the marriage. Husband paid monthly interest payments on the mortgage with marital funds. Thus, the appellate court determined that the residence was not purchased entirely with nonmarital property. The court also determined based on the testimony elicited at the trial that the house was purchased in contemplation of marriage. Finally, the court concluded that a business interest husband acquired during the marriage using funds derived from the mortgages on the residence at issue was also not nonmarital property given the previous findings.
Protect Life Insurance Proceeds Upon Death – Remove an Ex-Spouse as Designated Beneficiary
Parties to a divorce should change their life insurance policy designations immediately upon divorce – failure to do so can result in an ex-spouse receiving life insurance proceeds. In Richard v. Martindale, No. 09 CV 4159 (N.D. Ill., 2010), the parties divorced after a 20+ years of marriage, but the ex-husband failed to remove his ex-wife as a beneficiary of his life insurance policy. Upon the husband’s death, his sons, who were named as successor beneficiaries, sued for the life insurance proceeds on the theory that the ex-wife waived her rights in the parties’ marital settlement agreement which was incorporated into their divorce judgment. The court in Richard agreed with the sons and held that the waiver in the divorce judgment was specific, unambiguous and sufficient to override the ex-husband’s beneficiary designation in his life insurance policy. However, there are cases in Illinois where the divorce judgment was not carefully drafted and no steps were taken to change the beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy or pension fund. In these such cases, the ex-spouse, rather than the decedent’s children, received the life insurance proceeds or benefits. See In re Marriage of Meyers, 257 Ill.App.3d 560 (1st Dist. 1993); O’Toole v. Central Laborers’ Pension & Welfare Funds, 12 Ill.App.3d 995 (3d Dist. 1973).