Tag Archives: marital debt

IL divorce lawyerDeciding to get divorced is a big decision and one that you have undoubtedly spent countless sleepless nights agonizing over. Now that you have made up your mind that divorce is in your best interest, the prospect of having to go through the divorce process can suddenly seem extra daunting. Divorce is stressful, it takes half a year or more in many cases, and it puts extra strain on your children, your other loved ones, your career, and your finances. Below are four frequently asked questions about divorce that our clients commonly have.

Who Gets the Children?

In many divorces, the spouses are able to reach an agreement about child custody and the parenting plan with assistance from their attorneys. However, when agreement and compromise fail, a court will make the child custody decision for you. Judges always favor the custody arrangement that they believe will be in the child’s best interest. Long gone are the days when mothers were always given sole custody, in Illinois and across the country, fathers are fighting and lobbying to make joint custody the norm.

Are Marital Assets Divided Down the Middle?

Illinois is an equitable division state, which means that marital property is divided “fairly,” though not necessarily an even 50/50. In a contested divorce, courts look at the following information to help them decide which spouse gets what:

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IL divorce lawyerIt is no secret that financial troubles are a leading contributor to matrimonial anxiety and divorce. One recent study found that student loan debt is the cause of one out of eight divorces. Another survey found that money is the leading cause of stress in relationships. Whether debt, disagreements about how money should be spent, general incompatibility, or something else was the cause of your divorce, bankruptcy can quickly put your plans to a screeching halt.

Property Division Actions Are Stopped During Bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows homeowners immediate relief from foreclosure due to the automatic stay, which also stops lenders and debt collectors from continuing their debt collection practices. However, bankruptcy, due to the automatic stay, also stops all property division actions. For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court appoints a bankruptcy appointee who has the power to sell off your property to pay back your debt. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy will delay the division of marital property, this form of bankruptcy is over with relatively quickly.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy takes between three and five years, a time during which you must adhere to a strict payment plan to repay your debt. None of your property is sold off to pay back your creditors during Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but if you are going through divorce and desire to divide marital property, you must get permission from the court to do so. As such, going through a divorce during bankruptcy is a complicated task, though in some cases it cannot be avoided.

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Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family attorneyDuring the divorce process, a lot is going on. Not only are you dividing up visitation schedules, living arrangements, and possessions, you are coping with your life adjustments. It is easy to see why everyday tasks can slip through the cracks. Between changing addresses, packing boxes, and updating billing information monthly bills often go unnoticed, at no fault of either party. However, there are several reasons why it is imperative that the monthly bills remain paid each month, especially during divorce negotiations.

How Putting Off Payment Impacts the Divorce

Continuing to the pay the bills has some benefits but also has a few downfalls. First and foremost, you want to ensure that you protect your credit report. Good credit is necessary for most things in life now, including getting a job, renting or buying a house, and even getting re-married. To come out of a divorce with poor credit makes a difficult situation worse. However, set up a payment agreement with your ex-spouse about who is responsible for which bills each month. Once you have filed for divorce, anything outside of the marriage is no longer considered marital property, which is not subject to equitable distribution. In the court of law, making payments in “good faith” does not earn you any points with a judge unless there is a binding contract to go along with it.

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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?

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