Illinois divorce attorneyIn a divorce, the couple’s marital assets are not the only thing that has to be divided. Their marital debts, too, must be divided according to the doctrine of equitable distribution. Just like marital assets, most debts accrued during a couple’s marriage are considered to be property of both parties. In a divorce, the court consider a variety of factors, such as each partner’s income and contributions to the marriage, to determine an appropriate way to divide these debts.

Examples of Marital Debts

Marital debt can include:

Dividing Debt According to Equitable Distribution

Even if a specific debt was accrued primarily for one partner’s benefit, such as medical bills for one spouse’s treatment or student debt for his or her degree, both partners are liable for it during and after their divorce.

When the court divides marital debt between a divorcing couple, it does not always divide it perfectly in half. Rather, it examines a variety of factors surrounding the debt and each partner’s involvement with it, such as:

Keeping Debts Separate During your Marriage

It is possible to keep the debts you accrue during your marriage separate. This can be done with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. For example, you might include in a prenuptial agreement that any student debt that either partner takes on during the marriage will remain separate debt.

Another way to keep debt separate is to maintain separate credit card accounts. When there is only one name on a credit card account, that individual is solely responsible for repaying the debt. This is why many couples split their joint credit card debt and transfer it to two new, separate cards before they begin the divorce process. Dividing their own credit card debt is often far easier than having the court divide it for them.

Work with an Experienced St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering filing for divorce, learn more about each part of the process by discussing it with an experienced Kane County divorce lawyer. To get started, contact Shaw Family Law, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation in our office. We can answer all of your questions and help you develop realistic expectations for your divorce case. Reach out to us at 630-584-5550 for assistance.