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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

707 N. York Street, Suite 201, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Elmhurst | 630-528-0734

Mokena | 815-458-5660   Oak Park | 708-480-9651

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DuPage County Division of Debt Attorneys

Lombard Division of Debt Attorneys

Divorce Lawyers for Dividing Financial Obligations in Oak Brook, Hinsdale and Elmhurst

If you and your spouse are getting divorced, you have probably given some thought to how your marital property will be divided during the process. For most couples, the focus tends to be on splitting the assets that have been accumulated during the marriage, but there are other things to consider as well. Marital debts are also part of the marital estate and, therefore, must be taken into account when dividing marital property.

At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., our experienced attorneys are equipped to assist you with managing your marital and personal debts throughout your divorce. We will work with you in finding a reasonable solution that gives you the resources you need to move forward with your life.

Marital Debt Defined

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, marital property in a divorce is defined as any property—including assets and debts—that either spouse acquired during the marriage. There are some exceptions, but they are very limited. Therefore, if you or your spouse took on a financial obligation after the date of your marriage, that debt is a marital debt and must be considered for division.

Common examples of marital debt include:

  • Mortgages and home loans;
  • Home equity lines of credit;
  • Student loans;
  • Auto loans;
  • Medical bills;
  • Business loans and other debts associated with a family-owned business; and
  • Credit card debt.

In most cases, any debts that were incurred before the marriage will be considered separate or non-marital. Non-marital debts will generally remain the responsibility of the spouse who incurred them. We will work with you to establish which of your obligations are marital and which are non-marital. Sometimes, making this determination will require the input of outside financial professionals or, in some situations, courtroom litigation. No matter what challenges may arise, our attorneys are ready, willing, and able to help you find a solution.

Oak Brook Counsel for Resolving Marital Debt

Once the marital debts have been identified, you and your spouse must decide which of you will be responsible for paying which debts. Alternatively, you could also choose to liquidate available marital assets and pay off the debts instead of dividing them. While eliminating marital debt may seem like an easy solution, doing so is not always financially feasible for a divorcing couple.

If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement regarding your assets and debts, it will be up to the court to decide. In doing so, the court must allocate marital property equitably between the spouses. When debts are an issue, an equitable arrangement typically results in the spouse with the greater ability to pay being assigned a larger portion of the marital debts.

It is important to keep in mind that either spouse could be given the responsibility for a marital obligation, no matter whose name was on the debt initially. For example, if you took out an auto loan during your marriage but kept the loan in your name only, it is possible that your spouse could be ordered to pay that loan. In most cases, however, the loan would need to be refinanced in your spouse's name so that only your spouse is at risk for failing to make payments.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., our attorneys have more than 90 years of combined family law experience, and we know how to handle debt during divorce. To learn more, contact our office and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Call 630-528-0734 today. We represent clients in Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Lombard, Villa Park, La Grange, Western Springs, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Addison, Rolling Meadows, Kane County, and DuPage County.

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