Marital asset division is one of the most notorious areas of divorce, but it is not only a couple’s property that must be divided - their debts must be divided as well. Over the course of a marriage, couples can include substantial debt together. Indeed, couples may accumulate more debt than property. Jointly owned credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and home equity lines of credit are all common in modern marriages and must be dealt with in divorce.
As with the asset division process, Illinois courts are concerned with dividing marital debt in a way that is equitable rather than precisely equal. Understanding what this is likely to mean for you can help you prepare for your divorce and set yourself up for success in the future.
What is Considered Marital Debt?
If either spouse has debt before the marriage begins, that debt usually remains the responsibility of that same spouse if the marriage ends. But with few exceptions, debt accumulated by either spouse during the marriage will be considered marital debt. Medical expenses, investment debt, student loans, and small business loans are all common types of marital debt. Even a car loan taken out by one spouse and used exclusively for their benefit is considered marital debt....