Marriage of Olbrecht

First District Appellate Court – (1992) – Held –A Residence Which Was Purchased In The Name Of The Husband And The Husband’s Mother Before The Parties Marriage But In Contemplation Of Their Marriage Was Marital Property In Which The Wife Could Claim An Interest In And Despite The Fact That The Wife Was Not On Title. Trial Court Reversed.

In re Marriage of Olbrecht 232 Ill. App. 3d 358, 597 N.E.2d 635 (1st Dist. 1992)

(Leading Case In Illinois On The Classification Of A Home Purchased “In Contemplation Of Marriage” As Marital Property)

In Olbrecht Attorney Canulli represented Helen Olbrecht in her divorce. The parties became engaged and Helen’s husband purchased a home prior to the marriage in his name and that of his mother. Helen’s name was not included on title to the property however the parties lived in the home before and after their marriage and the mortgage and other expenses were paid from the parties marital incomes. Following trial the divorce court ruled that the home was the Husband’s non-marital property and Helen could not claim any interest therein. The matter was appealed and the 1st District Appellate Court reversed the finding and held that the home was purchased “in contemplation of marriage” and even thought the home was purchased prior to the marriage and the Wife was not in title the home must be reclassified as marital property and the Wife could claim an interest in the home and the equity therein.

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