For those unfamiliar with the divorce process in Illinois, the state will usually divide both assets and debts between the spouses. Typically, any income made and debt accrued during the marriage will be shared in the divorce. If you and your spouse didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement that separated your property and income before the marriage, you would be obligated to pay off the debt together.
The best way for divorcing couples to handle debt is to pay off the debt before filing for divorce. However, if this debt is extremely high, it can be hard for both sides to come to an arrangement on what exactly is fair. If the court has to decide how to divide the debt, it will use state guidelines for equitable distribution to determine how much debt each spouse will be responsible for following the divorce.
Debts shared by both spouses during the marriage are called marital debts, and they will usually be split equitably, if not equally. For example, if both spouses share the debt equally, but one spouse can afford higher payments, the latter may be found responsible for paying for the majority of the debt. If neither party can afford to pay the debt or refinance the debt to make affordable payments, the court can order the parties to liquidate some of their assets to cut financial ties.
If you need help determining how the court will divide debts between you and your spouse in the divorce, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Wakenight & Associates, P.C. has years of experience helping families in the state with their legal issues. Our Illinois divorce attorneys can help you navigate the divorce process and make it as stress-free for you as possible. Let us see what we can do for you in a free case consultation.
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