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How Credit Card Debt is Handled in an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on April 01, 2019 in Property Division

Wheaton divorce attorneysCouples usually anticipate a division and distribution of their assets during the divorce process, but many are surprised to learn that their debts are also split during the proceedings. Unfortunately, when parties are not prepared for the allocation of their debts, it can create serious financial issues, both immediately and in the distant future. Learn how you can avoid such an issue during your Illinois divorce, and discover how our seasoned attorneys can help. 

Who Owns the Debt in an Illinois Divorce? 

In marriage, debts and assets can become intrinsically intertwined; untangling them can be difficult, to say the least. Yet, it is critical that divorcing parties have a clear understanding of their debts. Additionally, parties are encouraged to try and distinguish which debts were initiated by them or their spouse, and which were co-marital debts. 

Not sure how to decide? 

First, consider whether the debt was established prior to or after the marriage. If initiated before the marriage, the debt would likely belong to the person who owned it prior to the marital union. Debts established during the marriage are generally considered co-marital. However, that does not necessarily mean that you and your spouse would split them evenly. Instead, they are generally divided in a way that is similar to the division of a couple’s marital assets.

How Marital Debts Are Divided in Divorce

When debts are considered co-marital, parties can divide them using one of two divorce methods: negotiation or litigation. In many cases, negotiation is sufficient; this process also offers numerous benefits to the participating parties, like affordability and customizable experience. Unfortunately, it is not appropriate for every divorce case. In fact, there are some who should avoid the mediation process at all costs. Examples could include parties with an element of financial, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse in their marriage, and individuals who suspect that their spouse could be intentionally depreciating their assets by racking up more marital debt. 

Whether divided through litigation or negotiation, the financial ability and stability of each party should be considered during the division process. For example, if one party was the income earner of the family, and the other stayed home to care for the children, they may not have the same capacity to pay back their marital debts. As such, it may be appropriate to allocate the majority of the couple’s debt to the primary earner in their divorce. 

How Our Seasoned Wheaton Divorce Lawyers Can Assist in Your Illinois Divorce 

At Davi Law Group, LLC, we work hard to preserve the financial well-being of our clients, both immediately and in the future. Seasoned and experienced, our DuPage County divorce lawyers can examine your marital estate and assist you in determining what debts may be your responsibilities. If litigation is necessary, we can aggressively protect your interests. Call 630-580-6373 and schedule your personalized consultation with our offices today.



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