Dealing with Marital Debt in Divorce

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, divorce lawGetting a divorce can be an expensive process. Many people rely on their spouse’s income to make ends meet. During and after your divorce, however, you will no longer have a second income to rely upon. Not only will your household income decrease, but you may also have to deal with marital debt. Splitting the mortgage, joint credit cards, and other joint payments can be a frustrating and complicated process. You need to protect your financial future, which can be extremely hard to do during such an emotional time.

Dividing Debt

In Illinois, all marital property is divided by the standard of equitable distribution. Essentially, this means that each spouse receives a fair share of all assets acquired during the marriage (the marital property). Each spouse’s share is determined by his or her individual contributions to the marriage, both monetary and non-monetary. So, how is marital debt split during divorce?

All marital debt should be dealt with during the divorce process. Both parties are liable for joint marital debt. Even if one spouse’s name is not on the other spouse’s debt, the non-debt-owning spouse may be held responsible for the debt if it was incurred for joint purposes. Some common examples of joint debt may include:

  • Mortgages;
  • Credit card debt;
  • Vehicle loans; and
  • Joint business debt.

Some couples also share consolidated student loans, for which both spouses will both remain responsible. No matter what joint debt spouses have, it will need to be addressed during the divorce.

Handling Debt After Divorce

The marital debt may be split according to a court order, or an out-of-court agreement. No matter how the debt is divided, each spouse could still be liable if his or her former spouse does not pay his or her share of the debt. If one spouse declares bankruptcy, the other may become responsible for some or all of his or her marital debt. In other words, creditors may come after the non-debt-owning spouse if the debtor spouse does not meet his or her obligation. If that happens in your case, you may be able to pursue legal options to enforce the order requiring your spouse pay the debt.

Contact Experienced DuPage County Divorce Lawyers

At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our experienced DuPage County divorce lawyers understand the financial strain that often accompanies divorce. For years, we have helped clients throughout DuPage County create innovative solutions to marital debt issues. We will work closely with you to determine the best steps for your financial future. Are you concerned how marital debt will impact your divorce? Contact our family law attorneys for a free consultation.

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