Joe and Tina Simpson, parents of pop star Jessica Simpson, are divorcing after 34 years of about extramarital affairs playing a part in the split, but so far the family marriage. Rumors abound has denied such allegations. They say the couple is breaking up because of a personality conflict. Tina was the first to move for the divorce, and Joe has responded by requesting that he walk away with all the couple’s assets.
In Illinois, marital property is split between the partners without regard to any marital wrongdoing, such as an extramarital affair. However, if one party abuses the couple’s financial resources after the relationship has started to decline, the court may take that into account. For example, if a couple becomes estranged and one partner goes out and buys an expensive sports car, the court might reduce the amount of marital property that the car-buying partner receives.
Marital property generally includes any assets that are acquired during a marriage. Exceptions to marital property division include inheritance, property obtained in exchange for assets that were owned by one of the partners before the marriage, and property excluded by prenuptial agreement.
While no couple wants to anticipate divorce, property division is much simpler if each spouse keeps their pre-marital assets separate from the community property. For example, determining the difference between marital and non-marital property would be easier if money that the partners had from before the marriage were kept in different bank accounts than the money that they acquired after the marriage.
Assets earned after marriage but before a divorce becomes official may also be separate from marital property if it is clear that one of the partners earned it after they made the decision to divorce. For example, Illinois requires a two year separation prior to divorcing. If at the beginning of that separation the partners each get their own separate bank accounts and deposit their paychecks accordingly, a court might deem money earned during the separation period to not be marital property.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Jessica Simpson’s parents split: star is coping with divorce as Joe and Tina shoot down divorce rumors,” Oct. 28, 2012