Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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How are gifts between spouses handled in property division?

When a person in Illinois files for a divorce, he or she will likely do a considerable amount of planning to ensure financial stability. Many of the considerations might involve property division, and real estate, investments, stock and bonds, along with other assets, may be the primary concerns. However, the question of gifts may arise -- who will get to keep the gifts that spouses gave each other?

These are questions best answered by an experienced divorce attorney, but the time that gifts were exchanged may play a role. For example, gifts exchanged before the wedding -- including an engagement ring -- may be determined to be the property of the recipient. However, if such gifts were funded from an already existing joint bank account or credit card, it will likely be regarded as property to be divided.

The same will apply if a gift was paid for by one partner, but the item was then upgraded after the wedding and funded by marital money. That item will be divisible in the same way as commingled funds such as an inheritance that was deposited into a joint bank account or used to pay for renovations of the family home. However, as in all legal matters, exceptions may exist.

Many people choose to ask all their questions and discuss all their concerns with an Illinois divorce attorney before taking the step to file for a divorce. This may prevent surprises that might hurt the individual's post-divorce financial welfare. An attorney can also be a valuable asset when out-of-control emotions need a third-party to facilitate communication during property division negotiations.

Source:, "Are Gifts Given During The Marriage Marital Property or Separate Property?", Christian Denmom, Jan. 5, 2018

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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