How Are Debts Allocated in an Illinois Divorce?

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How Are Debts Allocated in an Illinois Divorce?

Equitable Distribution Attorneys Serving Elgin, St. Charles, and Kane County

Just as with marital assets, marital debts must be divided equitably between the spouses in an Illinois divorce. The court must consider each party’s financial situation, the contribution of each spouse to the marital estate, parenting arrangements, and many other factors. It is important to understand, however, that equitably does not necessarily mean equally.

Because equitable distribution of marital debt does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split, deciding how the debt will be divided can become complicated very quickly. As such, disagreements often arise between spouses regarding who should be responsible for which marital obligations. When left to the courts to decide, the court must consider the circumstances of each individual situation.

Dividing Marital Debt

Once you and your spouse—or the court—have identified which debts are considered part of the marital estate, the court will need to decide which of you will be obligated to pay certain obligations. This is typically accomplished by analyzing when the debt was incurred, which spouse incurred the debt, and the purpose the debt was intended to serve. The court must also consider a number of other factors including the income and assets of each spouse. Responsibility for debts may be offset, as appropriate, by allocating marital assets to the responsible spouse.

Dissipation Considerations

In many divorce cases, one spouse may spend marital assets for purposes unrelated to the marriage. Sometimes, such spending—known as dissipation—results in substantial debts prior to a divorce. One of our experienced attorneys can help you file a dissipation claim to ensure that you are not responsible for debts that were not incurred in good faith.

To learn more about the process of debt allocation in Illinois, contact the offices of Pucci Pirtle. Call 847-426-1866 or 630-945-8807 for a confidential consultation at any of our three convenient locations. Our attorneys are proud to represent individuals and families in Elgin, St. Charles, Geneva, Aurora, Batavia, and the rest of Kane County, Illinois.

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