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How Is Debt Divided in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Property Division

Wheaton debt division attorneyDid you know that the average amount of personal debt for Americans aged 40-55 is over $135,000? Whether through a home mortgage, personal loans, credit cards, or student loans, most people have at least some debts. If you are planning to get a divorce, you may be wondering how debt will be handled. Typically, marital debt is handled similarly to marital property during an Illinois divorce, but each case is different.  

Illinois Laws Regarding Marital Debt

In many marriages, one spouse is more of a spendthrift than the other. Often, differences in spending habits and financial goals are one of the issues that lead to divorce. If your spouse has accumulated a considerable amount of debt, you may wonder if you will be expected to repay it after divorce. You may also wonder if your spouse will be on the hook for debts that you have acquired.

Illinois courts divide marital property according to a legal doctrine called equitable distribution. Property and debts are divided fairly but not always evenly. Marital property and debts, meaning property and debts obtained during the marriage, are divided between spouses. Non-marital property, which includes assets and debts acquired by a spouse before getting married, is assigned to the spouse who originally acquired it. However, in the majority of cases, the court does not decide the allocation of marital property and debts during divorce. The divorcing couple instead reaches an out-of-court settlement regarding property and debts through negotiation, mediation, or another dispute resolution method.

Could Creditors Come After Me For My Spouse’s Debts?

Credit card companies and other creditors may still pursue you for repayment of your spouse’s debt, even after you are divorced. Joint debts will continue to be your legal responsibility, even if they are assigned to your spouse in your divorce. Therefore, the best way to handle debt may be to sell assets such as the marital home and pay down debts as much as possible. However, this is not a realistic possibility for everyone. A divorce lawyer who is experienced in handling complicated financial situations can help you determine the best way to deal with marital debt.

Contact a Wheaton Property Division Lawyer

In an Illinois divorce, debt accumulated by either spouse during the marriage is typically considered marital debt. You may even be responsible for debts that your spouse obtained without your knowledge. In situations such as these, it is crucial to work with a divorce attorney who can protect your rights and offer dependable legal guidance throughout your case. If you are ready to divorce, but you have concerns about debt, speak with a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney from the Stogsdill Law Firm. Call us at 630-462-9500 and schedule a confidential consultation today.



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