FAQ: Debt in an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois

If you want to get an uncontested divorce in Illinois and you have jointly titled debt and loans with your spouse, then there are a few things that you need to know. As a divorce lawyer in Illinois, I represent people in an uncontested divorce for a flat fee – that means my objective is to help you to get a divorce affordably, and quickly. Checking out this information might be the way to get started.

Is debt important in an uncontested divorce?

Debt is very important in an uncontested divorce in Illinois. The terms of an uncontested divorce are stated in a marital settlement agreement (MSA). If the terms of your MSA are not appropriate for your situation, you could get stuck with debt you did not intend. In fact, you could get stuck with debt you didn’t even know about.

Can I handle my uncontested divorce debt without a lawyer?

Handling uncontested divorce debt without a lawyer can be very risk.

You probably think that I’m telling you handling your own divorces ridiculous because I want to hire me. Well, I guess I’m in business so people can hire me. But that’s not really it. There are some very good reasons why you should not handle your own divorce with one of those BS “divorce papers” websites.

Screwing up the terms of an uncontested divorce:

You are probably going to screw up the substantive terms of your divorce. If you don’t find out immediately, you might find out years down the road, and that could be even worse. See article about dividing property for some examples.

Just some of the problems you might encounter by screwing up the terms of your divorce include the following: a) not properly addressing debt titled in both your names, b) not forcing the other person to pay for debt that is titled in your name, c) getting stuck with debt titled in the other person’s name, and d) getting stuck with debt you didn’t even know about.

Wasting time in court:

When new lawyers are fresh out of law school, most don’t even know how to open a case in court. So if you think the procedure is going to be easy for you, you’ve got another thing coming.

It’s not like you just go to the clerk, handle your business, then appear in court to get divorced, and voila! There are certain items that must be turned in on a certain schedule, and in fact even getting a court date to finalize your case can be hassle. So if you want to screw up your life by messing around with corporate procedures, I guess handling your own divorce is something you want to do. But otherwise, it’s probably a bad idea.

You might want to check out this article about the REAL cost of uncontested divorce.

How are loans handled in an uncontested divorce in Illinois?

A primary area where people screw up when they are handling their own divorce is dealing with loans. Do you want to get stuck with loans that you meant to be your ex spouses responsibility? If not, then you probably don’t want to handle your own divorce.

Sometimes, dealing with loans requires detail. Many people don’t know that a judgment for dissolution (aka divorce decree) and the associated marital settlement agreement (MSA) cannot regulate a third party. That means that a judgment dissolution cannot order a lender to do anything – a divorce is only between the two spouses. A lot of people don’t know that, including professional and divorce mediators who don’t have a clue about handling uncontested divorce in Illinois.

If you and your spouse are both on a loan, meeting the loan is jointly titled, you can handle the responsibility for that loan various ways. Maybe after the divorce both of you will still be jointly responsible for it and pay equal shares. Or maybe you will handle it another way. Either way, things have to be spelled out in the proper manner with proper specificity. Otherwise, ambiguity is likely to create litigation in the future. And that could be very expensive. In fact, if you can cost much more to fight after a divorce is done then it costs to get an uncontested divorce in the first place.

Will a judge make sure my debt is handed the right way in an uncontested divorce?

People who want to handle a divorce themselves often think judge will review their documents and advise them of any problems.

That is only half true.

During the final court date for un uncontested divorce, a judge will review your documents, but usually only very superficially. The judge is normally only checking to make sure that the terms of your settlement agreement meet the minimum requirements. That means that terms covering the debt could be totally screwed up, and the judge might never know. And than means you will never know – until it’s too late.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that getting divorced shows that you got divorce the right way. Have you ever heard of those building that collapsed due to faulty engineering or materials? The building was not successful just because it got built – it was a disaster because it feel down.

What if debt is only in my name, or only in my spouse’s name?

Many people think that if debt is in only one person’s name, that debt will necessarily stick with that person after the divorce. But that’s not the case.

In fact, if debt was acquired during the marriage, then with rare exceptions, that debt is marital debt, and therefore, could be the responsibility of BOTH parties after a divorce.

This is just one example of why it makes sense to hire an uncontested divorce lawyer in Illinois. Our flat fee for uncontested divorce will probably appear small compared to having any problems with debt.

Can an uncontested divorce lawyer handle my debt?

An uncontested divorce lawyer in Illinois can address your debt in a marital settlement agreement (MSA).

You can contact us via text at 224-300-0529 or online. We basically have a pretty simple process where we started uncontested divorce in Illinois, and maybe one to two months later you can be divorced. Check out this article about the Illinois uncontested divorce process. Yeah, sometimes it’s quicker, and sometimes it’s longer. But I’m just trying to give you an idea of how long it takes.