Do I Need to Cover My Ex’s Debt if We Get Divorced in Illinois?

 Posted on November 15, 2023 in Divorce

St. Charles Divorce LawyerTypically speaking, a divorce is not a simple process for anyone. Even if you and your spouse agree rationally on all the issues involved, there can be an emotional component. Once, you were committed to each other and now you are figuring out how to separate your lives. In addition to the emotional issues, there can be financial implications. In some divorce settlements, people can be responsible for covering any debt their ex incurred during their marriage. This can include education fees, investments they made, or payment plans that have not been completed. If you are considering divorce but are concerned about what will happen with your ex’s debt, an experienced Kane County divorce lawyer can answer your questions and explain any responsibilities you may have.

How Does the State of Illinois Rule on Distribution of Assets and Debts in Divorce?

There are two main methods used for distributing a couple’s marital assets and debts: equal and equitable. The method used in your divorce is determined by the state you are in. The state of Illinois follows an equitable distribution method. Rather than splitting the value of all assets down the middle and giving each spouse an equal share, an equitable division would dictate that several factors need to be taken into account:

  • If one spouse earned the majority of income but the other spouse took on the majority of household responsibilities, thus allowing the first spouse the freedom to spend more time at work earning that money, this will be taken into consideration.

  • If both spouses worked full-time jobs their entire marriage but one had needed to invest more money and time in training for their particular professional field, this might be taken into account.

  • If one spouse needed to leave their career once the couple had children and will be a less desirable candidate for jobs after a divorce, but the other spouse was able to maintain a solid career and has gained a reputation and expertise that could make it easy for them to find a new job in the future, this might be taken into account.

In determining how to allocate debt incurred during a marriage, Illinois courts will consider several factors as well, including:

  • Was debt incurred unnecessarily, in an attempt to have the best brand-name clothing and accessories?

  • Was debt incurred in the form of student loans, in an attempt to better oneself professionally and set oneself up for stable income in the future?

  • Was debt incurred because one spouse refused to take responsibility and the other had to cover the costs of all food, clothing, medicine, home expenses, and other fees that are generally the shared responsibility of a couple, thus forcing them into debt?

Contact a St. Charles, IL Debt Distribution Attorney

Several factors are taken into account when determining the future of marital debt. If you know your spouse has incurred a lot of debt throughout your marriage and you are concerned you will need to cover that debt if you get divorced, fear not. An experienced Kane County, IL divorce lawyer will be able to review your case and clear up any confusion. Call Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 to schedule your free consultation.

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