Dealing with Debt and Protecting Your Financial Future in Divorce

debt, DuPage County divorce attorneyIn an Illinois divorce, the property and assets of a couple are equitably (fairly) divided. What a lot of couples fail to take into account is that this process of division also applies to their debt. It does not just disappear, after all. Be prepared and protect your financial future. Know how to deal with debt during the divorce process, and how you can effectively protect yourself from debt that should no longer be considered “yours” once everything is completed.

Taking a Proactive Approach to Debt Before the Divorce

All too often, couples wait put off dealing with debt until the last possible minute, assuming it will all just work itself out during the divorce process. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Instead, debt may be wrongly assigned to a party that cannot reasonably afford it. However, even if debt is equitably distributed during the divorce, failure to think ahead can come back to haunt the one who should have been “off the hook.” This can be especially true in situations involving joint debts, such as joint credit cards, mortgages, and other installment loans.

Couples can often avoid such problems with a little proactive planning. Some may be able to pay down debt (or even completely pay it off) prior to the start of the divorce. Others may have to sit down and decide ahead of time who should be responsible for what. Either way, make sure that everything is in writing, retain all receipts, and take precautions along the way.

Protecting Yourself From Debt During Divorce

While some couples may be able to work out an agreement regarding their debt, others may be facing possible revenge. Their spouse may intentionally run up joint accounts, hoping to saddle the other party with more debt than they can reasonably afford. Others may wipe out accounts, just to limit the funds that are available to them. Still others may refuse to pay debt that has been assigned to them in divorce, which may come back on the other party. Protect yourself from these potential problems with the following precautions:

  • Resolve as much joint debt as possible before the divorce and cancel any joint credit cards with a zero balance;
  • If you and your spouse agree on a debt assignment, get it in writing;
  • If you have joint credit card debt that you cannot pay off before the divorce, move your portion to a credit card under only your name;
  • Maintain detailed and meticulous documentation of your expenses so they can be accurately reported in court; and
  • File any paperwork you have regarding debt with the court as soon as reasonably possible.

Get Help With Your Divorce Debt

If you have joint debt and are planning on filing for divorce, it is critical that you take the proper steps to protect your financial future. Contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney for help. Dedicated to your best interest, we will walk you through the entire process and protect your rights, every step of the way. Get the representation you deserve by calling 630-409-8184 today.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

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