Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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The importance of the language on divorce settlement agreements

Sometimes, when marriages end in Illinois, both spouses want to get the process over and done with as soon as possible. Even if they give their full attention to the property division process, their aim is to get that final divorce decree and move on. However, many divorcing spouses do not realize how important the details and clear terms on the settlement are.

If divorcing parties do not want to add additional stress at the time when they have to start a new, single life, the language regarding debt distribution, property division, alimony and real estate distribution must be specific. If a recently divorced person applies for a loan, this document will be scrutinized to determine the applicant's financial obligations. For that reason, the manner in which information appears on the agreement may determine approval or rejection of the loan application.

Debts for which the loan applicant are responsible must show the name of the creditor, account number and the balance. If he or she wants to show alimony as an income to help with qualifying for a loan, records will be required to prove at least six months of such payment already received and documented proof that it will continue for at least three more years. Advisers also say that it is wise to separate all joint debts soon after the divorce and ensure that each debt account is only in the name of the person responsible for payment.

These are but some of the financial steps to take to avoid pitfalls in the challenging time in the aftermath of a divorce. If Illinois couples take note of these tips, each party can discuss the wording of the settlement agreement with his or her respective attorney before the divorce is finalized. An attorney will likely have access to financial advisers who can provide additional guidance to ensure the necessary attention is paid to the details.

Source:, "Dyer: Avoiding complications from a divorce when home buying", Bobbie Dyer, March 21, 2018

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Belleville, IL 62220

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