Debt Division
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Debt Division in Divorce

Many couples who divorce have more debts to divide than assets. If you or your soon-to-be ex has a significant amount of debt, it's important to find out exactly what you will be responsible for paying.

At Lucas Law in Barrington, Illinois, we are here to protect your financial interests in marital property division. Attorney Joseph M. Lucas has more than 25 years of experience dividing marital debts and assets in divorce.

What Are Marital Debts?

All debts accumulated during your marriage, including mortgage debt, car and other loans, tax debts and credit card bills, may be considered a part of the marital estate, regardless of who incurred the debt. Even if you were unaware of the debt, you may still be responsible for paying a portion of it.

According to Illinois law, marital debts are divided equitably between the parties. However, equitable does not necessarily mean equal. A judge may determine that something other than a 50-50 division of debt is fair.

What Can I Do to Protect Myself From My Spouse's Debts?

The first step in protecting yourself is obtaining full disclosure of what your spouse owes. Does your spouse have loans or other debts you are not aware of? Our lawyers can work with forensic accountants and other experts to give you as complete a financial picture as possible.

Here are some further steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • If you have joint credit cards, cancel those cards immediately and obtain new ones in your name only.
  • In some cases, it may make more sense to discharge debts through bankruptcy rather than divide them in divorce.
  • If you spouse wasted assets (for example, spent marital assets to take a boyfriend or girlfriend on a vacation), the judge may order your spouse to reimburse those expenses.

Even if a judge orders your spouse to pay debt on a joint credit card, the credit card company may still hold you responsible if your spouse fails to make payments.

Talk to Our Lawyers About Division of Marital Debt

If you are concerned about debts your spouse incurred, you should immediately consult with an attorney to determine the most appropriate way of protecting yourself. Call 847-381-8700 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

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