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Divorce Q&A: Gifts, Loans, and Other Shared Marital Property


Accounting for every financial asset in a divorce is complicated. Accounting for every financial asset correctly is even more challenging.

After all, most couples receive gifts, loans, and other shared property throughout their marriage. And, should the time for divorce come, accurately sorting through all this property can be a greater challenge than most couples anticipate.

With the assistance of a skilled Naperville divorce attorney, you can ensure you receive any gifts you’re owed as well as a fair part of loan repayment and other shared marital assets. Below, we discuss each in greater detail to ensure you leave nothing to chance and receive the settlement you’re owed.

How Gifts Work in Illinois Divorce

If you were given a gift throughout the course of your marriage, it isn’t shared property. However, if you receive a gift – especially money – and then use that money to purchase something jointly with your spouse – like a home – you may turn a gift into marital property. This means you won’t be able to recover it in divorce.

If the gift has been kept separate from other marital property, the courts will consider whether the item was intended as a gift or loan and whether you owe anything in return for the gift. If determined to be a gift for one individual spouse, the court will award the gift as your non-marital property.

Of course, not every determination of marital property is straightforward. This can force courts to rely on testimony, documentation, and other evidence demonstrating what the gift is and whom it was intended for.

If it Isn’t a Gift, It’s Likely a Loan…

Some couples receive loans from family members or even friends during their marriage. If the person who loaned the money reasonably expects the money to be paid back, this will be a factor in the divorce. Sometimes, couples try to pass off loans as gifts. However, the court’s investigative process will reveal the truth.

Don’t Stress Out About Marital vs. Non-Marital Property 

Marital and non-marital property is a major source of stress for many couples during divorce. However, it doesn’t have to be. This is especially true if you retain a Naperville divorce lawyer with the experience and dedication of Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd..

At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we rely on over 35 years of experience to ensure all property issues in your case are resolved effectively and correctly. This means that if you’ve received a gift, you don’t need to worry whether you’ll be awarded this property in your divorce.

Take advantage of your free, 30-minute consultation by contacting us at 630-470-9990 or fill in our simple online form to request an appointment time. We look forward to speaking with you and assisting in all of your property and other divorce-related needs!

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.