Wife filed a motion to enforce or clarify the marital settlement agreement (MSA). The MSA was part of their judgment of dissolution. The Trial Court properly granted husband’s motion to dismiss. Wife appealed.

The Judgment of dissolution had included an express integration clause. It stated their intent to bind themselves to their written agreement. It did not allow the use of outside evidence at a later time if one feels there is an ambiguity or something.

An integration clause is designed to bind the parties to the terms of their written agreement. By using an integration clause in a contract, the parties are “explicitly manifesting their intention to protect themselves against misinterpretations which might arise from extrinsic evidence.”

In contrast, the provisional admissibility approach allows the use of extrinsic evidence to aid in interpreting an agreement. The provisional admission approach does not apply to contracts with an integration clause.

Wife claimed that Husband should have been responsible for the mortgage on the home he was living in. The MSA did not assign the mortgage to him or to her. Perhaps the mortgage was only in her name. She would be ultimately responsible if she was the only one on the mortgage. Too late to add that now.

In re Marriage of Lewin, 2018 IL App (3d) 170175

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