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Dividing Debt in Your Divorce: How Does it Work?


Most individuals have many concerns during a divorce. However, fewer are as troubling as the division of debt.

Most couples have credit card debt, student loans, a mortgage, car loans, and other sources of debt at the time of divorce. Combined, this can be overwhelming when you consider what portion will be “yours” when you divorce.

It’s important to remain calm when you consider any issues in your case, including the division of debt. Below, we offer a general overview of what to expect to put your mind at ease and answer your questions as you consider or begin the divorce process.

Debt is Divided According to “Equitable Distribution”

In Illinois, debt, like assets, is equitably distributed between you and your spouse. This means that you won’t simply divide the debt 50/50. Instead, the judge will decide what is equitable based on a number of factors.

Some of these factors include:

  • Income – If you’re a stay-at-home parent and your spouse works and has done so for many years, you will not be burdened with as much debt as your spouse. The reasoning is that you could not afford to do so whereas your spouse can realistically pay for more of the debt.
  • Ability – By ability, we mean your education level, work experience, and other factors that will affect your earning potential following the divorce. If you can be reasonably expected to secure a well-paying position, you may receive more of the debt than you expect.
  • Assets – Certain assets can be used to distribute debt as well. For example, if you are to be awarded the marital residence and its value, you may also receive a greater portion of the marital debt. Divorce cases are all about balance in this sense.

Always Remember You Won’t be Burdened With Debt You Can’t Afford

Divorce is set up to allow you another chance at life. Divorce judges are trained and knowledgeable enough to know what you can and cannot realistically handle in terms of debt.

This is a great way to reassure yourself that life does and will go on after divorce. More importantly, you won’t have a massive amount of debt preventing you from beginning anew.

Discuss any Debt-Related Concerns With the Team at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

If you’re concerned about the division of debt in your divorce, there’s no reason to be. At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we’ve practiced family and divorce law for over 35 years and will ensure you have peace of mind and a manageable portion of the marital debt to manage following your divorce.

Take advantage of your free, 30-minute consultation by contacting us at 630-470-9990 or filling out our simple online form. We look forward to speaking with you and offering our support and guidance throughout the divorce process!

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.