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Tenancy by the Entireties

Illinois recognizes a special form of landownership called “Tenancy by the Entireties.” This is to be used only for the home in which a husband and wife live during marriage. Property held by “the entireties” can be used only to satisfy the debts of both members of the married couple. In other words, if a husband files bankruptcy and he has no joint debts with his wife, a house which the husband and wife own free and clear – in the entireties – can’t be liquidated to satisfy the husband’s debts. You can’t place your property in tenancy by the entireties for a fraudulent purpose – for example just to avoid claims of creditors. But if you have a legitimate justification above and beyond avoidance of creditors’ claims, tenancy by the entireties can protect your most important asset – your family home.