The divorce process opens the door to new discussions for partners. It can be challenging to know how to navigate the many gray areas uncovered throughout a divorce, such as how much spousal support will be awarded, who will stay living in the shared family home, and which financial assets belong to each respective spouse. One common question posed during a divorce is how to pay bills during the marriage dissolution process. In short, the answer to this question is that it depends. There are a few key distinctions to consider when deciding how to pay family bills during the divorce process.
Consideration One — Joint and Separate Assets
In Illinois, whoever owns the financial asset, whether a mortgage or other payment, is responsible for maintaining that payment, even throughout a divorce. If you and your partner share the deed to the house, you are both responsible for paying the mortgage until the divorce is finalized. Couples should consider which assets are individually owned and which are shared to create a plan for maintaining those bills throughout a divorce.
Consideration Two — How are the Bills Already Split?
How are bills currently split between you and your partner? Do you both have a system that is working for you? Has one partner decided to stop paying their portion of bills? Has either of you had a change in income or job status?
If you already have a bill-paying process that works, continue to pay the bills in this manner during the divorce. Maintaining this schedule can allow for a smoother divorce as you will not be fighting with your spouse over how to keep your assets afloat. Continuing the payment schedule that is already in place is known as maintaining the status quo. Illinois courts are quick to ensure that whoever was already paying the bills continues to do so.
Once the divorce is finalized, joint assets will be divided, and each spouse will pay for their allocated assets. For example, the spouse awarded the family home will pay those household bills.
Consideration Three — Circumstances Change
It is vital to keep up with bills to maintain strong credit before a divorce. If there has been a change in circumstances regarding who is paying bills, individuals have a few options to ensure that bills are paid. If your partner has decided to stop paying their portion of bills during the divorce process, you can file a Motion for Contribution in an Illinois court. The court may enforce this motion by attempting to maintain the status quo — how bills were divided before the divorce.
Speak to a Will County Divorce Attorney Today
The divorce process can be challenging to navigate alone. At [[title]], we understand that you may have questions regarding your divorce. Our skilled Will County divorce attorneys are prepared to answer your questions and help guide you through your divorce. Call us today at [[phone]] to schedule your free initial consultation.