If a spouse used separate property on a family vacation or home renovation, would it become marital property?

What about in the case in which, maybe somebody had premarital funds or inherited some money from his or her uncle during the marriage. And the person took that money and instead of keeping it separate, took the whole family on a dream vacation or contributed significantly towards renovating the family kitchen in the family home. Would that be an instance where it might have changed from separate to marital?

By Sean Sullivan
May 04, 2016

That's possible. You would have to look at it in the sense in which the person contributed in terms of the dream vacation. Ultimately, the money's already spent and the person chose to contribute to the marital estate at that point, and so there's probably not any reimbursement that's entitled. But in the situation in which the person took non-marital property, such as the inheritance and used it for a renovation on the house or something that contributed to the marital state, it's then possible that he or she would be entitled to a reimbursement back to his or her separate estate. So, it's kind of a twofold answer.

Sean Sullivan is a family lawyer practicing in the Elmhurst, Illinois area at the law offices of Laura M Urbik Kern, specializing in child custody and dissolution in divorce. Visit his website, www.laurakern.com, and Divorce Magazine profile.

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May 04, 2016
Categories:  Financial Issues|FAQs

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