Along with the many other concerns of dissolving a marriage in Illinois, soon-to-be exes often have to worry about splitting joint credit card debt. Experts recommend leaving a marriage with no joint debt. While this may seem difficult to achieve, there are ways couples can work together to eliminate joint debt during the divorce process.

Joint credit card debt is particularly worrisome to divorcing couples because credit card companies do not have to adhere to divorce decrees. So if a person fails to pay their debt, their ex-spouse might be held responsible for that debt, even after the divorce is final. One way couples can avoid this is by paying off joint debt during the divorce process, by either using joint savings or home equity lines. Another way couples can avoid this type of debt coming back to haunt them is by dividing up the debt from joint credit cards and transferring it to their individual cards. With both options, joint credit cards need to be canceled during the process.

In most states, debt incurred during marriage is the responsibility of both spouses if they both signed for the credit card. However, when one of the spouses is only an authorized user, they are not responsible for payment. To additionally protect themselves, couples should establish a date where they both agree they cannot make any additional charges on their joint cards. Family law dictates that marital assets and debts be divided during equitable distribution. This includes establishing how much debt each person will be responsible for after the divorce.

With the complications divorce often brings, residents who are considering or beginning the process might consult with a family law lawyer. A lawyer can offer legal representation and help a client prepare for the process.