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Dividing Credit Card Debt in Divorce

Cash and Ring.jpgOne of the biggest problems in Divorce Cases in Illinois is dividing Credit Card Debt. Don't think that because you have a credit card in both names, it will neccessarily be divided 50/50. Illinois is not a Community Property State. That means that Credit Card Debt will be divided based on what is fair and equitable not necessarily in half.

What if you have credit cards in your own individual name?

Does that mean that you will have to pay all of those cards with no contribution from your husband or wife?

No! The judge will look at your itemized credit card statements. If you routinely put groceries or other household expenses on that Visa or Master Card, your husband or wife should contribute. But if you put a trip to Las Vegas with your friends on your card, then a judge is likely to say that you should be solely responsible for that expense. The trip to Las Vegas is not a marital debt.

Can you take steps to make sure you are not responsible for the credit card debt incurred by your husband or wife?

Yes! Get rid of all of your joint cards and try not to put household expenses on your cards that aren't paid off every month. Keep it simple.

Keep in mind, however, that some circumstances are out of your control. If your husband or wife makes significantly less than you, a judge might force you to pay more than half of the overall credit card debt rung up during the marriage. 

Are you thinking of divorce but carrying some credit card balances from month to month? Consult an attorney about strategies for emerging from divorce not saddled with debt.

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