Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Divorce: Untying financial knots can be complicated

Before tying the knot in Illinois, it is likely with great anticipation that otherwise dreaded tasks are completed. These might include getting a marriage certificate copy and arranging the name change with the Social Security Office and the DMV, opening joint bank and credit card accounts, and ensuring that the names of both spouses are on the residential property deed. The same excitement might not be present when all those changes must be undone in the event of a divorce.

When a marriage ends, the most important step might be the changing of account information. Couples are advised to cancel joint credit card accounts rather than just removing one spouse's name. Regardless of whom the court orders to pay that debt, the credit card company will continue to hold both responsible, and nonpayment can cause damage to credit score for seven years. For that reason, transferring the outstanding balance onto a new account in the name of the party responsible for payment might be a better idea.

For the same reasons, it is advisable also to close other joint accounts like savings and checking accounts, not to forget about insurance policies. If both names remain on the insurance policy, one spouse might be held liable for accidents caused by his or her former spouse. Failing to close a joint account could turn out to be an unnecessary risk. Starting on solo accounts at the same time as starting a solo life would likely be the safer option.

For most Illinois people who are in the throes of divorce, it is unfamiliar territory, with many essential steps to take. For that reason, they find that securing the support and guidance of an experienced divorce attorney can ease the process significantly. A lawyer can help to ensure that nothing is forgotten in the process of financial uncoupling, while also assisting with child-related issues and making sure the client gets a fair deal in the property division process.

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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