Must I Pay My Ex’s Debt in a Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on April 04, 2024 in Property Division

St. Charles divorce lawyerDuring a divorce, property, and asset division is one of the most complex issues that spouses will need to figure out. Often overlooked is the presence of debt between a couple, and this debt will also need to be divided and allocated as spouses separate. In many cases, you may wonder if you will be left on the hook for your ex’s debt after divorce, though whether or not this occurs depends on the type of debt your former spouse owes and the additional division of assets.

An experienced Illinois divorce lawyer can help you understand how your debt might be divided and advocate for the most beneficial outcome during your divorce.

Understanding Marital and Non-Marital Debt

As you start the divorce process and divide your assets, it is important to know the difference between marital and non-marital debt. In general, you may potentially be required to pay some of the debt that your ex acquired during your marriage, which counts as marital debt. In contrast, non-marital debt, or debt that was acquired by your ex before or after your marriage, will usually not be factored into your divorce.

Examples of marital debt include the mortgage for your home, credit card debt, car loans, and student debt. Illinois courts will consider several factors when dividing marital debt, including whether your spouse went into debt to support the family by paying for rent, clothing, or food or if the debt was acquired unnecessarily, such as excessive spending on designer items.

How Will My Debt Be Divided During Divorce?

In Illinois, property, assets, and debts are divided equitably during a divorce. Any debt you and your former spouse acquired during marriage will be allocated equitably, not straight down the middle, in a fifty-fifty split. This could mean you end up paying some of the debt your ex acquired during marriage.

However, you and your ex may be able to divide your debts and assets in a mutually agreeable way, such as one partner keeping the house and related debt while the other keeps his or her own student loan debt and any benefits the education brought them.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney

Navigating the division of marital debt during your divorce is challenging, and you no doubt want a fair outcome that ensures you are not paying all of your ex’s debt. A skilled Kane County, IL divorce lawyer can help you understand this process and advocate for the best outcome possible.

At Shaw Sanders, P.C., Attorney Matt Shaw is certified as a mediator, and he can help you navigate the equitable division of marital debt with your ex so you can reach an outcome that satisfies you both. Call 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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