You likely have many questions and uncertainties when going into a divorce, and many of them surely involve the division of marital assets. While it can be relatively easy to understand the distribution of typical assets and finances, the allocation of marital debts might remain unclear.
Without a plan for how you will manage debts after splitting from your spouse, you might find yourself overwhelmed in a situation where you have less income to rely upon. You can proceed with confidence by familiarizing yourself with the process of handling debt during a divorce case.
How will divorce divide your debts?
Illinois statutes on the disposition of property and debts establish a policy of equitable distribution. Whereas courts in other states might divide your debts equally in half, Illinois courts consider a number of factors when dividing assets and debts. For example, you might receive a greater share of marital debts than your spouse, but you would also receive a greater share of desirable assets as well.
Should you pay off your debts before divorcing?
A large number of marital debts can complicate an already difficult divorce process. Keeping in mind that each individual will be solely responsible for paying their share of debts after the split, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse might consider working together to pay off as many outstanding debts as possible before proceeding. This will help the divorce itself proceed more smoothly and ease the burden on each individual afterward.
Courts divide marital debts by following the same principles governing other assets in a divorce. Keep in mind, however, that it can be difficult to manage debts if you are transitioning to a single-income or no-income lifestyle following your divorce.