Property Division for Unmarried Couples

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,It was an issue first reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court more than 35 years ago, and the justices ruled then that common law marriages would not be recognized in this state. This meant non-married, cohabiting partners, regardless of the length of their relationship, could not claim rights to property owned by the other person. This ruling was upheld earlier this month when the Illinois high court decided that unmarried domestic couples had no rights to a partner’s property when the relationship ends.

Marriage and Cohabitation Not the Same, When a Relationship Ends

Many couples do not believe marriage is the right way to affirm their relationship. In fact, there are many couples who live together for long periods of time, even outlasting their married counterparts. However, the end of a relationship not licensed by the state through marriage can provide for some drama when it ends if one feels they are entitled to part of the property and assets amassed during their time together.

However, in its most recent ruling, the state’s high court again confirmed that division of certain property and assets held by unmarried couples was not subject to the same laws as those impacting married couples going through a divorce.

  • When first considered, the Illinois Supreme Court reasoned the issue as a way to uphold a policy that discouraged cohabitation of unmarried partners, and any children resulting from the relationship.
  • Despite a change in societal norms, the state only recognizes a partner’s rights when part of a legally licensed marriage.
  • The laws in Illinois pertaining to unmarried couples apply to both those in same-sex relationships, as well as straight couples.

Financial Tips for Unmarried Couples

Here are few things cohabiting couples should consider to avoid unpleasantness should the relationship end.

  1. Create a plan for paying shared obligations, such as rent or utilities.
  2. Schedule bill payments with a plan that prevents unnecessary debt or late balances.
  3. Alternate purchasing expensive items.
  4. Owned real estate, rather than rentals, can complicate matters. If you are helping with mortgage payments make sure your name is on the title.

Seek the Help of a Knowledgeable Illinois Divorce and Property Division Lawyer

Property division in the event of a divorce is an important aspect of the process. Fair and equitable division of property and assets can ensure some measure of security when a marriage ends. Seek the counsel of a reliable and experienced DuPage County divorce attorney who can help you secure a fair division of assets. The Law Offices of Matthew M. William, P.C., will provide a thorough review of all property and assets, and create a plan for a reasonable division of all assets subject to the law. Contact their offices to schedule an initial consultation.


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