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Are Debts Shared in a Plainfield, IL Divorce?

 Posted on February 28, 2022 in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1031134915.jpgThroughout a marriage, couples wind up sharing many important assets. Joint assets in marriage can range from physical things such as cars and homes to retirement plans and accumulated debt. Dividing up marital property can be tricky, especially when it comes to each spouses’ financial health. An experienced divorce attorney may be able to help divide the debt between the spouses in a way that ensures both spouses maintain a secure financial position. 


Understanding Shared Debt

Both partners are responsible for the debt accumulated during the marriage unless it is explicitly specified that only one spouse was responsible for a certain payment through a prenuptial agreement or other agreement. If the debt owed was created prior to the marriage, then that payment is typically the sole responsibility of that individual. However, there are special situations that deviate from these general rules.

Examples of shared marital debt may include:

  • Outstanding mortgage payments

  • Shared credit card debt

  • Shared car loan payments 

  • Medical payments 

Examples of individual debt may include:

  • Student loan payments prior to marriage

  • Outstanding medical bills prior to marriage

  • Individual loans

How Will Debt Be Divided?

Like all other shared marital assets, debt is divided between both parties in a way that is equal and reflects both spouses' financial abilities, not necessarily in a 50/50 manner. This means that when crafting the divorce decree that specifies all of the legal responsibilities that each partner will have following the divorce, the judge will consider many circumstances. These circumstances include:

  • Which partner has more individual debt

  • Which partner makes more money 

  • Which partner is receiving more of the shared savings

  • Which partner is paying the most for childcare needs 

  • Which partner is most responsible for the debt

When preparing for a divorce, it is in both partners' interests to document all of the shared finances prior to legal hearings. This will allow for time to pay off debts, prepare all of the paperwork necessary when filing for a divorce and open the dialogue with your partner. It is a great idea to discuss how marital property will be divided prior to filing for divorce to avoid a contested divorce. A contested divorce occurs when one or both spouses do not agree on an element of the divorce process. Contested divorces are time-consuming and much more expensive. Divorce attorneys can then help create a divorce agreement that allows both partners to feel comfortable with the amount of debt they will incur as a single individual. 

Speak To a Will County Divorce Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., our highly skilled divorce lawyers are prepared to help you through any stage of your divorce process. We understand the importance of having a lawyer that you can trust through this difficult time. Our attorneys have years of experience representing their clients and ensuring their best interests are considered when completing a divorce agreement. For a free consultation with our office, call today at 815-666-1285




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