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What Happens to Credit Card Debt in an Illinois Divorce?

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joliet divorce lawyerCredit card debt is quite prevalent in the United States. In fact, Americans owe $807 billion in credit card debt. If a single person incurs credit card debt, he or she is solely responsible for paying for it. However, what happens if that debt is incurred during a marriage? If you are getting a divorce in Illinois, you may be held responsible for this debt even if your spouse was the only one who used the credit card.

How Credit Card Debt Is Split in an Illinois Divorce

If you are planning to divorce your spouse, you may wonder how your credit card debt will be handled. If the debt was incurred during the course of your marriage, the creditor may hold both you and your spouse responsible for it. On the other hand, any debt either spouse incurred before they were married is considered personal debt and is the sole responsibility of the person who made the purchases.

Since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, your debt will not be divided exactly 50/50 if your case ends up going to trial. Instead, it will be split fairly. A judge will look at multiple factors before deciding how to split the debt, such as:

  • Each spouse’s financial resources

  • Each spouse’s personal assets

  • How long the marriage lasted

  • The amount of child support and spousal support

Who benefited the most from the credit card purchases may also be considered by the court. For example, if the person who made the purchases was the only one who benefited, the debt would most likely be classified as separate. On the other hand, if the person made purchases that benefited the other spouse or entire family, a judge would consider it marital debt.

Protecting Your Credit During a Divorce

Although your marital status will not show up on credit reports, joint accounts you had with our spouse and accounts you cosigned for your spouse will. If your ex makes late payments or defaults on the payments, it could negatively affect your credit rating. If it is feasible, try to pay off your existing joint accounts with your spouse and close them before your divorce is finalized. Many divorcing spouses choose to liquidate assets like real estate in order to pay off jointly held debts. 

Contact a Will County Divorce Attorney

If you have additional questions about dividing credit card debt in your divorce, a Joliet, IL divorce lawyer can help. At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we can examine your marital estate and figure out which debts you will be responsible for. Contact us at 815-666-1285 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-credit-card-debt

https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/who-is-responsible-for-credit-card-debt-in-a-divorce/

 

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