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Transferring Non-Marital Home to Both Parties as Joint Tenants or Should Estate Planning Documents be Utilized

It is not unusual for one spouse to come into the marriage with a residence that is solely in his or her name.

If after the marriage, the home is transferred to both spouses to own as joint tenants, that can result in transmutation which means that what was previously non-marital property is then considered marital property in terms of dividing marital assets within a dissolution of marriage proceeding.

Once the transfer of real estate has occurred, with a conveyance of one spouse to both spouses as joint tenants or tenants in common, that cannot be undone or changed without the consent of both spouses.

On the other hand, if a spouse comes into the marriage with a home as non-marital property, that spouse can, through his or her estate planning documents, make provision for the other spouse. There is flexibility with this strategy in that the person owning the marital home can always change his or her estate planning documents to make alternative provisions and that avoids the issue of transmutation which may otherwise occur if the home, owned by one spouse, is transferred to both spouses after the marriage, to be held as joint tenants or tenants in common.


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Either or both parents may be ordered to pay reasonable and necessary child support, without regard to marital fault or misconduct. If the official Illinois guidelines are not appropriate, the court considers the financial resources and needs of the child, the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had endured, the physical, emotional, and educational needs of the child, and the financial resources, needs, and obligations of both the non-custodial and the custodial parent. Support payments may be ordered paid directly to the court.
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