What You Need To Know About Debt Division in Illinois

What You Need To Know About Debt Division in Illinois

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

The divorce process in Illinois requires many different steps, including the division of marital property. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), all marital property, including assets and debts, will be divided in a manner that is equitable to both spouses.

What does this mean? In short, since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, the court will look at a variety of factors to determine what a fair asset division and debt division should be based on the particular circumstances of the married couple.

In any divorce, regardless of the value of the assets or debts from the marriage, you should have a Chicago area debt division lawyer on your side to advocate for you. In the meantime, the following are some key things you should know about debt division in Illinois.

Separate Non-Marital Debt Will Not Be Divided in Your Divorce

In a divorce, courts do not divide Non-Marital property. To be sure, only marital property is divided in a divorce. What this means for you is that non-marital debt will not be divisible in your divorce case. Accordingly, if you have non-marital debt, or if your spouse has such debt, the court will not divide the debt between you. To ensure that this debt is not divided, the court will need to classify all property, including assets and debts, as non-marital property or marital property. How does non-marital debt get classified appropriately?

Generally speaking, debt that falls into any of the following categories will be classified as non-marital property and will not be subject to distribution:

  • Debt acquired prior to the marriage
  • Debt that is specifically excluded from division through a premarital or postnuptial agreement

Marital Debt Will Be Divided in a Manner That is Equitable

Once debt is properly classified, the court will divide marital debt in a manner that is equitable to both spouses, taking into account relevant factors listed in the IMDMA such as:

  • Each party’s contribution to the acquisition of the debt
  • Each party’s dissipation of marital property
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Economic circumstances of each spouse
  • Age and health of the spouses
  • Occupation and skills of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s allocated parental responsibilities
  • Tax consequences of the distribution of property

When it comes to debt and the division of marital property, the court will need to divide both marital assets and marital debts in a way that is fair to both spouses. If you have particular concerns about marital debt, especially if your spouse incurred the majority of the debt without your permission, you should seek advice from a debt division attorney in Chicago. It can be difficult to understand how a court must classify and divide debt acquired by just one spouse during the marriage without the other spouse’s knowledge or permission, but your lawyer can advocate for you in court and may be able to show that the majority of a specific debt should be distributed to the other spouse.

Contact a Chicago area Debt Division Attorney

Whether you are just beginning to consider the possibility of filing for divorce or you need assistance with your existing divorce case, one of our experienced debt division attorneys in Chicago can assist you. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC to learn more about the services we provide.