Spouses typically share almost everything with one another. You may use the same checking account and deposit your retirement savings into a joint account as well. You likely live in the same home, eat the same meals and share an insurance policy that covers both of your vehicles.
You have to split all of that back up again when you get divorced. Not only do you have to negotiate who keeps different aspects of your property, but you also have to find a way to divide your debt appropriately.
What will usually happen to the debts that you share during an Illinois divorce?
Equitable distribution rules apply to debts, not just property
When a couple doesn’t agree about how to split up their assets, a judge will have to make those decisions for them. The equitable distribution rules in Illinois apply to the income both spouses earned and any property that they purchased while married to one another. The same rules apply to any debts accrued during the marriage.
A judge can look at the balance of different accounts and try to factor those obligations into their decisions about the spouses’ marital property. Even a credit card or student loan that is only in one spouse’s name can wind up divided in an Illinois divorce. If the debt is from during the marriage and the intent was to benefit the family, then the spouses will likely have to share repayment responsibilities.
Exactly how the judge splits property will depend on many factors, including your current income and how long you stayed married. Learning more about property division rules can help you plan both for divorce and life after divorce.