Why You Must Have a Copy of Your Divorce Decree in Safekeeping

finalized divorce decree

For the obvious reason, holding onto a copy of your divorce decree seems important because this final judgment signed by a judge is the official document that proves your divorce to be legal. But for a less apparent reason, it is also significant because it may serve as a piece of evidence needed for any post-judgment issues that may arise. Continue reading to learn what these situations may be, and how an experienced Morton divorce lawyer at Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C., can help you in obtaining a copy. 

When will a copy of my divorce decree be important?

The following are post-judgment circumstances in which you will be required to present a copy of your divorce decree:

  • Reassuming your maiden name: When requesting the name-changing documents from a judge, they will likely ask you for your intentions with changing your last name. This assures them that you are not avoiding creditors or criminal charges. Once you are granted the document, you may go to the Social Security office to begin the name-changing process. You will have to do the same at the Department of Motor Vehicles. A copy will also be needed to obtain an updated passport and credit cards.
  • Refinancing your marital residence: if you are fortunate enough to be left with your home in your divorce settlement, you will need to remove your former spouse’s name and obligation from the mortgage. In addition to a copy of your divorce decree, mortgage lenders will also ask for your Marital Settlement Agreement to prove if any specific terms must be met prior to approving your loan.
  • Remarrying: a copy will be needed when you apply for your new marriage license. In the state of Illinois, bigamy, or being legally married to more than one person at the same time, is illegal. So, this copy serves as proof that you are truly divorced and not just separated from your former spouse.

How do I get a copy of my divorce decree?

A divorce decree is filed with the county clerk likely in the county where you reside. When contacting the county clerk, your application must be submitted with a driver’s license, state-issued non-driver photo-ID card, passport, or U.S. military-issued photo-ID. Or, a utility/telephone bill and a letter from a government agency dated within the last six months will suffice.

If you require the services of a skilled Tazewell County family law attorney to help you obtain a copy of your divorce decree, do not hesitate in reaching out to our firm today.

Contact Our Experienced Illinois Firm

At Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C., our divorce lawyer will help you navigate the divorce or family law matter you are facing. We provide effective and compassionate legal counsel for the following legal matters: divorce, alimony, division of marital assets, child custody, and child support. Contact us today.

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