When Divorce and Bankruptcy Collide

What is Exempt in Illinois (What You Can Keep When Filing Bankruptcy)

  • Homestead — up to $15,000 in equity in your home
  • Motor Vehicle — up to $2,400 in one motor vehicle
  • “Wildcard” Exemption — If an exemption amount does not cover personal property that you would like to keep (does not include real estate) you can use this exemption or use it for an item that is not protected up to $4,000
  • Alimony, Support, and Maintenance — the amount reasonably necessary for support.
  • Cemeteries and Burial Funds — pre-need cemetery sales and future care funds
  • Claims for Negligence or Tortious Conduct — payment made to you from a wrongful death of a person who was your dependent to the extent reasonably necessary for your support and a personal injury award up to $15,000
  • Crime Victim’s Compensation — 100% of any compensation for a crime
  • Franchise, Permit, and License Interests including liquor permits
  • Fraternal Benefit Society Benefits — 100%
  • Insurance Benefits — Life insurance, annuity proceeds, or cash value if the beneficiary is insured’s child, parent, spouse, or another dependent
  • Life insurance proceeds to a spouse or dependent — to extent needed for support
  • Health, disability, or unemployment benefits
  • Partnership Property — under the Illinois Uniform Partnership Act
  • Pension and Retirement Benefits
  • Personal Property such as necessary — wearing apparel; bible and school books; family pictures; professionally prescribed health aids; a certificate of title to any a watercraft over 12 feet in length; prepaid tuition trust fund; Illinois College Savings Pool accounts invested more than one year before filing if below federal gift tax limit, or two years before filing if above
  • Public Assistance — 100% exempt
  • Trade Implements — $1,500 in all tools of your trade
  • Unemployment Compensation — 100% except for certain child support claims
  • Wages — 85% of your gross earnings or 45 times the federal minimum hourly wage per week, whichever is greater
  • Worker’s Compensation -100% exempt
  • Veteran’s Benefits — 100% exempt

How long does bankruptcy take?

Impact of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention & Consumer Protection Act of 2005

Bankruptcy Cannot Discharge Spousal Support or Child Support Obligations

Creditors and Dividing Debts in Divorce

Addressing Division of Debt in the Marital Settlement Agreement

Impact of the Family Expense Act

Family Expenses under Illinois Law

  • Illinois has determined that the following are family expenses:
  • Medical bills,
  • Funeral expenses,
  • Clothing,
  • Jewelry,
  • Rent for the family home,
  • Repairs for the family home, and
  • Wages for a domestic servant.

Filing Bankruptcy During the Divorce Process

Bankruptcy and Discharge of Student Loan Debt

Consult with an Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney Before Your File



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Anderson & Boback Family Law

Anderson & Boback Family Law


When Everything Is On The Line, You Need An Attorney You Can Trust, That Will Advocate & Fight For Your Family! We Can Help!