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What Happens to the Family Home in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerMarried spouses and any children they have typically live in the same home. During and after divorce, spouses in Illinois are unlikely to want to remain under the same roof long-term but may feel uncertain about who, if anyone, will continue to live in the family home. Spouses can feel an emotional attachment to their home, especially if it has been inherited from cherished family members, and parents may have concerns about the destabilizing impact of moving to a new home on their children.

Determining Ownership

Whether one spouse owned the home before the marriage or whether the spouses bought a new home together will impact the way the marital home will be handled in the event of a divorce. Illinois law says that assets owned by either spouse prior to entering the marriage are usually considered individual property in the event of a divorce.

Large appliances and cars with your name on the title are fairly easy to distribute, as their ownership is clear. But homes are more complex, especially because spouses make mortgage payments and do not usually own them outright during the marriage.

If you got married and moved into a home one spouse already owned outright, the home will likely remain that spouse’s property after a divorce. But if the non-owner spouse contributes part of their income in the maintenance or remodeling of the house, and the house increases in value during the marriage, at least part of the house is likely to be considered marital property.

Who Wants to Stay?

If one spouse wants to stay in the marital home, the other spouse can use that to their advantage during the divorce process. If the couple jointly owns the home, the spouse who wants to stay will have to “buy out” the other spouse – that is, they will need to compromise other marital assets, such as cash or investments, equal to the value in the home they will get to keep. Knowing what your spouse is likely to want in this case can help you negotiate wisely in your divorce proceedings.

Consider the Expense of Sole Home Ownership

If keeping the marital home is a priority for you, you will need to consider your financial situation if you are granted sole ownership. You will need to consider other assets you may have to give up, as well as whether you can afford to pay the mortgage by yourself. Likewise, you should take into account other homeownership expenses, such as maintenance, repairs, and property taxes. If your children are likely to be primarily living with you, the child support payments may offset some of the expenses of homeownership. But homeownership is expensive and in the end, you may decide owning the marital home is not worth giving up other, more important things.

Speak with a Rolling Meadows Divorce Attorney

Dealing with the division of assets in a divorce can be stressful and time-consuming. Fortunately, you can do it with the help of an experienced Arlington Heights divorce attorney. The attorneys at A. Traub & Associates are committed to advocating for your interests and getting you the best results possible. Contact us today at 847-749-4182 for a confidential consultation.



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