Combining your household with your spouse when you get married often means that you share almost everything in your lives. You probably own your house together and likely share cars and insurance policies as well. Commingled finances often mean that you share debts as well as assets.
Many couples also have shared credit cards that either spouse can use for household expenses. If you file for divorce in Illinois, what happens to those joint credit cards?
Equitable distribution laws apply to debts as well as assets
When a couple files for divorce in Illinois, they either have to negotiate their property division themselves and file an uncontested divorce or they have to ask a judge to rule on the division of their property. If the judge has the final say in the distribution of your marital estate, they will have to apply equitable distribution rules to your household assets. Family law judges have to consider marital circumstances and focus on fairness when dividing marital property.
The same rules apply to your debts. If one spouse has far more income than the other one, the courts may expect that person to pay more of the debt. If one spouse charges many expenses as a way to intentionally diminish the marital estate, the courts may choose not split that portion of the debt.
However, most all of your debts from during the marriage, including those not on joint accounts, are potentially divisible in an Illinois divorce. Learning more about property division rules can help you seek a fair outcome in your divorce.