Divorce can be a complex and emotionally challenging process, and one important aspect that needs to be addressed is the division of debt. In DuPage County, Illinois, the courts use a principle known as "equitable distribution" to determine how debts should be divided between divorcing spouses. Here is an overview of what you need to know about division of debt during a divorce in DuPage County.
How Debt is Divided in DuPage County
Equitable distribution means that the debts are divided in a way that is fair and just, taking into account the financial circumstances of both parties. Although couples are encouraged to find a debt allocation that is agreeable to both partners, this is not always possible. When a couple cannot decide on debt division issues themselves, the court will consider factors such as the length of the marriage, the income and earning potential of each spouse, and the ability of each spouse to pay their debts.
In some cases, the court may order one spouse to pay a certain amount of the other spouse's debts. For example, if one spouse has a higher income or more assets, the court may order them to pay a larger share of the couple's debts. On the other hand, if both spouses have similar financial resources, the debts may be divided equally between them.
Types of Debts that are Divided in DuPage County
The court will divide marital debts. Marital debts are those that were incurred during the marriage, such as credit card debts, mortgages, and car loans. Non-marital debts are those that were incurred before the marriage, and they typically remain the responsibility of the individual who incurred them.
It is important to note that the court may not divide debt based on who incurred it. For example, if one spouse incurred a significant amount of credit card debt during the marriage, the court may order both spouses to pay a portion of that debt, even if only one spouse was responsible for incurring it. The more important factor is whether the debt was used for the benefit of the marriage.
Tips for Managing Debt During and After a Divorce in DuPage County
If you are going through a divorce in DuPage County and are concerned about the division of debt, there are a few steps you can take to protect your financial interests:
Gather financial documents - It is important to have a complete picture of your financial situation, including all of your debts and assets. Make sure to gather all relevant financial documents, including credit card statements, mortgage documents, and tax returns.
Negotiate with your spouse - If you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement on the division of debt, you can avoid the time and expense of going to court. Consider negotiating a settlement that takes into account the needs and financial circumstances of both parties.
Seek legal advice - Regardless of whether you and your spouse can agree on a debt division before going to court, a divorce attorney can help you understand your rights and options and advocate for your interests in court if necessary.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Lawyer
If you are involved in a divorce in Wheaton, IL, and you are concerned about the division of debt during the process, please contact the experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group. We can help you understand your rights and options. Call us at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.