Should I Plan for Debt Division in My Divorce?
By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC
Getting divorced in the Chicago area often results in various concerns about finances and the division of marital property. Many spouses will become involved in contentious disputes over how marital assets will be divided, including who may be able to keep the marital home. In these kinds of situations, parties are often thinking about marital assets when they are considering how property will be divided.
Accordingly, parties might not always know if they should plan for debt division in a divorce. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), all marital property will be divided in a divorce, including both assets and liabilities. If you are wondering whether you should plan for debt division in your divorce, the most important question is whether you have marital debt. We want to say more to help you understand.
Understanding Property Division — Including Debt, In the Chicago area
Illinois law requires all property in divorce cases to be classified either as separate (non-marital) or marital property. In most cases, non-marital or separate property includes property acquired prior to the date of the marriage, property acquired as a gift or inheritance during the marriage, or property excluded from division through a valid premarital or postnuptial agreement. When it comes to debt, nobody receives debt as a gift or an inheritance. Accordingly, the only type of debt usually divisible in a divorce is debt acquired after the date of the marriage — unless it is excluded through a premarital or postnuptial agreement.
Will Debt Be Divided in Your Divorce?
This answer depends upon whether you have marital debt. If you or your spouse acquired any debt during the marriage, even if it was on a personal credit card that did not include your spouse’s name, that debt will likely still be classified as marital debt and will be subject to division. If you or your spouse went back to school during the marriage and took out student loans, it is important to know who obligated themselves on that student loan debt. However, student loan debt, credit card debt, and other debt accrued prior to the date of your marriage usually will not be divisible.
Rather than wondering whether a particular debt is likely to be divided in your divorce, you should get in touch with a divorce lawyer who can take a closer look at the specific elements of your case to help you understand whether a specific liability is likely to be considered marital or separate property.
Seek Advice from a Chicago area Divorce Attorney
All marital debt will be subject to division in your divorce, with certain exceptions. If you have questions or concerns, you should seek advice from an experienced Chicago area divorce lawyer as soon as possible. At Gordon & Perlut, LLC, we want to make sure the division of your marital property, including assets and debts, is done equitably and you receive a fair settlement under the law. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC to learn more about how we can assist with debt division in your divorce.