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What Will Happen with Your Credit Card Debt in Divorce?

Judith Trentman Wilson, Attorney at Law, P.C. Dec. 22, 2019

When you get a divorce in Illinois, you and your spouse split everything from the marriage. That includes debt. This could be a little daunting, especially is you have a lot of debt. You may wonder how the court will divide it. Will you have to pay for every debt in your name, and your spouse pay for everything in his or her name? The separation of debt is about the same as the separation of property, which should clarify things a little.

U.S. News and World Report explains that if you brought a debt into the marriage, then it is your separate property and your debt to pay after the divorce. However, any debts either of you accumulated during the marriage is the responsibility of both of you, and the court may separate the liability for them between you.

There is an exception, though, with debt. Even the court cannot change your debt contracts. If you both cosigned a loan, for example, you both remain legally responsible to pay that debt even if the court says it is only your spouse’s responsibility.

You have to be very careful with your credit card debt. If a card is in your name, but the court says your spouse must pay the debt, you will be the one with the bad credit mark if he or she fails to pay the bill. The ultimate responsibility for any credit card debt lies with whoever’s name is on the account. So, keep that in mind as the court divides your debts. This information is for education and is not legal advice.