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DuPage County property division attorneyDuring the asset division phase of your divorce, you and your spouse will decide which marital assets you each get to keep. What you may not realize is that you will also have to figure out who will be responsible for your debts. Any debt that you and your spouse jointly incurred during your marriage is considered marital debt. This means both you and your spouse will be responsible for repaying that debt after you are divorced. When it comes to dividing what you owe, things can become contentious, since debt is one of the few things in your divorce that you will not be fighting to keep.

Try to Be Debt Free Before You File

Creditors do not care what a divorce decree says. All they care about is being reimbursed. Even if your spouse was ordered to pay back a certain debt, if your name is on that account, and your spouse does not pay, you could be held responsible. The easiest way to prevent any issues arising from your debt is by not having any debt when you file for divorce. This is not a possibility for some, though you should still try to wipe out as much marital debt as possible before you file for divorce.

Secured and Unsecured Debts

The way you handle a particular debt depends on the type of debt it is. A secured debt is any debt that is secured by an asset, such as a house or a car. Since you do not fully own the house or car until the debt is paid off, the lender can take the asset from you if you become delinquent on the loan. Unsecured debt such as credit card debt is not secured by any assets, meaning the lender does not have the right to collateral for the debt.

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,There are a million and one things that you need to cover in a divorce settlement. There is the house, child support, allocation of parenting responsibilities, splitting bank accounts, and determining spousal support. With so many things already on your mind, it is easy to forget about things that are smaller - but still just as important. These things may not be significant now, but they can affect you in the future. Debts or Other Financial Obligations Usually divorcing couples argue about who gets the money in the savings account and who gets to keep the house - nobody is arguing about who gets to repay debt. When you get divorced, you are not forgiven of your debt and you still have the responsibility to pay it back. Whether it be personal debt, credit cards, or a mortgage, you should outline who pays what so there is no confusion. Car Insurance If you have children, car insurance is something you will have to consider when they come of age to drive. Many insurance companies will increase your premiums automatically when your children reach the driving age, even if they are not actually driving your car. The sooner you can negotiate how those extra costs are divided, the better. College Costs for Your Children In Illinois, parents have the responsibility to help their children attend post-secondary education if they choose to. This means that the courts will require one or both parents to contribute to the child’s education if it is necessary. Portions of the parents' income or property could be used to cover costs such as college application fees, college entrance exams, books and supplies, living expenses and tuition. You can choose to outline your own college payment plans in a divorce settlement if you do not want the courts to decide for you. Collections and Memorabilia Things such as books, art, antiques, and coins can be just a hobby to you, but they can be worth a lot of money. Not only are they intrinsically valuable to you, they are also financially valuable, so it is important for you to decide what happens to them when you divorce. Get Help from a Kendall County Divorce Lawyer

There are many things that should be covered in a divorce settlement--too many things for you to remember on your own. If you are getting a divorce, you should contact a Naperville divorce attorney to help you keep everything straight. Rely on the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. to help you come to a comprehensive and agreeable divorce settlement. Call the office at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.



divorceIn a divorce, things can get ugly and they can get ugly fast. Once you have made the decision to separate from your spouse, the last thing you want to do is spend months, even years, arguing with them over certain things, attending court hearings, and waiting for the courts to finalize everything. This is the case for many couples who cannot come to an agreement on things. When you make the decision to divorce, you want the divorce to go as quickly and as smoothly as possible. This is where a joint simplified dissolution of marriage may come in handy. What Is a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?

This type of divorce is an uncontested divorce, meaning there are not any points of disagreement or argument between the two parties who are getting divorced. Generally, for the divorce to be uncontested, both spouses have to agree on:

  • Division of the marital property;
  • Spousal support;
  • How marital debts will be paid off; and
  • Any other issue arising from the marriage.
A joint simplified dissolution is entered into willingly by both parties and essentially expedites your divorce, but there is a catch - not all couples can use the simplified version of divorce. Qualifications for a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that the only couples who are eligible to use this process are couples who meet all of the following set of criteria:

  • Neither spouse is dependent on the other for support;
  • Both spouses waive their rights to support;
  • At least one spouse has been a resident of the state of Illinois for at least six months prior to the divorce petition;
  • Proof of irreconcilable differences has been met;
  • No children were born of the relationship, the couple did not adopt a child and the wife is not pregnant with the husband’s child;
  • The marriage did not last longer than eight years;
  • Neither spouse has property or retirement benefits, or the retirement benefits are held in separate accounts and are less than $10,000 in value;
  • The total value of all marital property is less than $50,000;
  • The combined gross annual income from all sources is less than $60,000 and neither spouse makes over $30,000 annually;
  • Both spouses have disclosed all of their assets, liabilities and tax returns during the marriage;
  • Both spouses have formed a written agreement dictating the division of assets, debts, and liabilities; and
  • Both parties have agreed upon who is responsible for any companion animals.
Contact a Skilled Kendall County Divorce Lawyer

Although not all couples are eligible for a joint simplified dissolution, some couples are. Joint simplified dissolutions are the easiest and quickest way to get an uncontested divorce finalized. If you think that you might qualify for a simplified dissolution, or if you are unsure if you qualify, you should contact an Aurora divorce attorney to discuss your situation. The Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. can help you figure out the best way to file for your situation. To set up a consultation, call the office at 630-409-8184.


Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have long been considered taboo or unromantic. While it is probably close to one of the most unromantic topics you could discuss, divorce is a possible reality for any married couple. Entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help you if you do decide to get a divorce somewhere along the road. Ironically enough, these kinds of agreements can also help you during your marriage, too, which is one of the reasons why they have become more popular.

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legal documents that can outline certain things in the event that a marriage ends in divorce. Unlike prenuptial agreements, which are signed prior to the marriage, postnuptial agreements are ones that are formed and signed after a couple is already married.

Consider Paying Off Debt before Divorce

Every year, thousands of couples in Illinois decide to end their marriages. For many of these couples, dividing assets and debts can be extremely complicated and often becomes contentious. If you find yourself in a deteriorating marriage and divorce seems to be on the horizon, you may want to consider paying off some of your marital debt prior to beginning the divorce process.

Marital Debt

Like marital assets, any debt incurred by either spouse during the course of a marriage is generally considered to be marital debt. As such, marital debt must be considered during the division of property proceedings in divorce. Based on factors prescribed in Illinois law, marital assets and debt are to be equitably distributed between the divorcing parties. For couples with few assets and limited debt, the process is often relatively simple. Those with more property and complicated debt, however, may face increased difficulty.

Liquidate Assets and Pay Debt

Depending on your specific situation, satisfying marital debt before filing for divorce can significantly streamline the property division process. By doing so, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the need for complex calculations to offset assets and obligations.


A study conducted by Kansas State University researchers and reported upon in the Huffington Post has recently made ripples in the divorce community. The study found that “couples who argued about money early in their relationships—regardless of their income, debt or net worth—were at greater risk for divorce.” Sonya Britt, a top researcher on the report, told the Huffington Post that “it doesn’t matter how long ago it was, but when they were first together and already arguing about money, there is a good chance they are going to have poor relationship satisfaction.” This makes sense. Financial arguments have long been pinpointed as a top reason for divorce; arguments that involve both how much money gets spent and what it’s being spent on.

Lisette Chicago divorce attorney

According to The New York Times, a2009 study conducted by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University found that “couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.” This study considered relationships not just in the beginning stages, such as the one that came out of Kansas State University, but also longer-term marriages. Interestingly, Dew’s study found that “for wives, disagreements over finances and sex were good predictors of divorce, but finance disputes were much stronger predictors. For husbands, financial disagreements were the only type of common disagreement that predicted whether they would get a divorce.”

The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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