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


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

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Understanding Marital Debt Division in Your Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Batavia divorce attorney debt asset division

When you and your spouse begin to divide your assets during your divorce, issues can often arise over who gets to keep what. During the excitement of determining what happens to your assets, many couples forget the other part of the division process -- figuring out what happens to your debts. Any debt that you or your spouse took on while you were married is considered marital debt, meaning both you and your spouse are responsible for repaying it, even after a divorce. While the idea of figuring out which debts you will be responsible for may seem unappealing, it is a crucial and required step in the property division process.  

Marital Assets and Debts Are Divided Equitably

In the state of Illinois, any asset that is declared to be marital property is divided in an “equitable” manner, rather than simply just splitting it in half. The same idea is applied to marital debts; any debt that you and your spouse may have incurred during the marriage will be subject to equitable division. Some of the most common debts that married couples have include things such as mortgages, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, student loans, and credit card debt. To ensure assets and debts are actually distributed in an equitable manner, there are a variety of factors that a judge looks at prior to making the determination, which can include a spouse’s current income and earning capacity, and whether one spouse sacrificed being in the workforce to stay home to run the household and take care of the children.

Type of Debt Determines How it Will Be Handled

Most married couples have debt that is both secured and unsecured debt. Secured debt is that which is tied to actual physical property, which can be repossessed or recovered if payments fall behind. The most common types of secured debt in a divorce may include your home and/or your vehicle. Unsecured debt is any money that you may owe a creditor that is not directly tied to collateral property. The most common type of secured debt is credit card debt, but it could also include things like unpaid medical or utility bills.

In most cases, unsecured debt can easily be divided since there is nothing else tied to that debt. Secured debts can get a little tricky. For example, if you have a vehicle that you and your spouse still owe $15,000 on, that amount is typically the responsibility of whoever keeps possession of the vehicle. However, other factors could come into play, such as if a spouse was a homemaker, in which case a judge may decrease the amount of debt they are responsible for.

Our Oswego, IL Property Division Attorney Can Help

It is a rare occasion when both spouses agree on how assets and debts will be divided during their divorce. In many cases, it can take weeks of negotiating to achieve an agreement that both spouses can get behind. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you form a property division agreement that protects your interests. To schedule a consultation with our Kendall County property division lawyer, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




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


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

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