Debt accrued during the marriage will be divided in a divorce. As part of the division of property, even balances on credit cards in only one spouse’s name will figure into the division of marital debt if purchases were made during the marriage. If you are considering divorce and are worried about continued spending on the part of a soon to be ex-spouse, you can protect yourself from accumulating more debt by filing for a legal separation or divorce.
It not unusual for one spouse to find out that the other spouse has incurred debt they were not aware of. They may not have even known that their spouse had a number of credit cards they were spending against. When they divorce, one spouse may discover that the other spouse has significant credit card or business debt and wonder if they are responsible for the debt in a divorce.
Every situation is unique and the court will look at details of your case to determine the equitable division of marital assets and debt. If, for example, your spouse is irresponsible or has a spending addiction they may be assigned responsibility for more of the marital debt. If a spouse has a gambling problem or spent lavishly on an affair leading up to a divorce – aka the dissipation of marital assets – they would likely receive fewer marital assets or be responsible for related credit card debt.
As a rule of thumb, if debt is generally incurred for marital purposes such as food, clothing transportation and the like, the court will typically divide that debt equally. In other cases, where spending is lopsided, extravagant, or hidden, the court will take a close look at the circumstances to reach a fair and equitable division of marital property and debt.
Questions about spouse’s credit card debt after divorce?
When you and your spouse owe money on credit cards or other unsecured debt, we negotiate terms that protect you. Contact the Illinois family law offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for more information at 847-680-4970.