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Which Assets Are My Property but Not My Spouse’s?

 Posted on March 25, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerIn general, just about everything you and your spouse have acquired during the course of your marriage is considered marital property. Marital property is to be equitably (fairly) divided during a divorce. However, it is possible for a married person to own separate property, that belongs only to them and not to their spouse. Separate property is not subject to any kind of equitable division during divorce. The spouse who owns it keeps it. One of the first steps towards dividing property in a divorce involves identifying what is marital property and separate property. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine what is or is not your separate property. 

What is Considered One Spouse’s Sole Property?

Even when you are married, you can have property or money that only belongs to you. This type of property include: 

  • Premarital Property - Getting married does not mean that all of your property abruptly becomes your spouse’s property too. If you came into the marriage with it, you can leave the marriage with it as well in most instances. For example, if you are still driving the car that belonged to you before you got married, your spouse is not likely able to claim any ownership interest in your vehicle. This does also includes any debts you had before you got married, like student loans or old credit card debt.

  • Inheritance - Would your grandma want your spouse to take half of what she left to you in her will? Would she want your spouse to take a few pieces of her jewelry or a family heirloom? Probably not. The law acknowledges this likely fact - anything you inherit while married belongs only to you. However, if you used funds you inherited to benefit the marriage - for example, by using it to purchase new bedroom furniture for you and your spouse - then those purchases could be considered marital property. 

  • Gifts - When people give a gift, it is typically intended for only the recipient to use and enjoy. This applies to gifts that were meant only for you. Whether you were gifted money, jewelry, or any other property, you probably do not need to worry that your spouse has a claim to it during a divorce. However, the same rule applies - if you use your gift to serve the marriage or family, it may become marital property. 

  • Lawsuit winnings - If you won money in a personal injury suit, it is yours. You are the one who was injured. You are the one who deserves the money. 

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

If you are going through a divorce, Serrano Hanson can fight for you to keep as much as possible. Our experienced Geneva divorce lawyers will seek a final order that leaves you in the best possible position. Call 630-844-8781 for a consultation. 




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