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How Does Debt Division Work in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Asset Division

DuPage County marital debt division attorneyWhen going through the divorce process in Illinois, couples typically focus on how to divvy up assets they acquired during the marriage. Less attention is paid to the financial obligations the parties incurred since the wedding date, so debt in divorce is often overlooked. In particularly contentious cases, bitter disputes and court battles may erupt as one spouse attempts to hold the other accountable for the amount due. Even if you are on relatively good terms, marital debts can often stand in the way when you are trying to reach an agreement on distributing real estate and personal property.

It is always wise to rely on experienced legal counsel when addressing divorce-related issues, so you should consult with an attorney about your specific circumstances. However, an overview of Illinois law may help you understand the basic concepts.

Illinois Law on Dividing Assets and Debts

Illinois’s statute on the disposition of property in a divorce requires an equitable distribution of all property and assets that belong to the marital estate. The law goes on to include debt and financial obligations in the definition of “marital property.” Therefore, it is important to consider the following regarding any debt belonging to you or your spouse:

  1. Whether the financial obligation is marital or non-marital, considering all relevant factors
  2. How to distribute the debt in the interests of equity, which may or may not mean an equal 50-50 split of the amount due

Considerations When Dividing Debt

The wedding date is not the only factor involved in the question of marital versus non-marital debt; the person’s name on the debt is also not a controlling determinant. Assets and debts are usually considered marital when acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage, but there are situations in which this is not the case. Examples of debt that may be considered non-marital, and thus separate from the division of assets and debts, include those that one spouse incurred:

  • When exchanging non-marital assets for other non-marital property
  • After legal separation

  • Because of depreciation of a non-marital asset

  • Through a liability claim against non-marital property

For debts that are considered marital, the couple typically has the option of negotiating their own decision regarding an equitable distribution. Often, it is possible to compromise on dividing assets and debts with guidance from the spouse’s respective attorneys. In addition, an Illinois divorce court may require the parties to go through the mediation process to reach an agreement.

Contact Our Wheaton Debt Division Attorneys About Your Divorce

This summary may help you grasp the basics of debt in a divorce, but there are specific concepts you need to understand to protect your interests. Instead of putting your rights at risk, trust our team at Goostree Law Group to guide you through the equitable distribution of marital assets and debts. For more information, please call 630-364-4046 to speak to a skilled DuPage County debt division lawyer. We can schedule a free consultation to assess your situation and advise you on next steps.




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