What are my options here?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What are my options here?

I got divorced 10 years ago. I agreed to refinance the home as soon as I was reasonably able to. We had split debt, so I had marital debt to take care of. Roughly a year later, he declared bankruptcy. He is not on the title, nor is he financially responsible for the mortgage, but his name is still on it. Not long after that, I got laid off. I spent the better part of 2 years unemployed. Once I did find work, it was quite a bit less than I’d been making. At present, I’m making just over minimum wage in my state, and I have been looking for a better job. However, my ex is now threatening me with a lawsuit to refi the mortgage, which I don’t qualify for. I believe my attorney had told me that I could go back to court and request maintenance/alimony if my financial circumstances changed and they REALLY have. I live in Illinois. What can I do? Can he make me refi?

Asked on October 16, 2019 under Family Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you almost certainly cannot get maintenance/alimony at this point: that was already determined, and the court will not make your ex start supporting someone he has not been married to for 10 years.
If he sues you, however, you should have a good defense to the lawsuit on the grounds of "impossibility": you cannot comply due to factors wholly beyond your control, such as your loss of income and not being able, as a practical matter, to refinance.

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