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Should I Try to Keep the Home in My Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Joliet divorce lawyerGetting a divorce brings so many major life changes that you may find yourself looking for comfort and stability in things that can stay the same. This mindset may have led you to prioritize keeping your marital home in the division of property so that you do not have to worry about moving along with ending your marriage. However, keeping the home is not always the best decision, and it is important to consider your answers to the following questions as you decide how to proceed.

Are You Raising Children?

If you have kids under the age of 18 who are still living with you, especially if you are expecting a greater share of parenting time, staying in your home may be important to help the children adjust and allow them to continue attending the same school. If your children are already grown, however, a divorce may be a good opportunity to sell the home and downsize to a residence that is more affordable and easier to maintain.

Can You Afford the Mortgage?

If you and your spouse have not finished paying off your mortgage, keeping the home in the divorce will likely also mean that you become fully responsible for the debt. Homeownership also comes with other substantial costs, including insurance, property tax, utilities, and repairs. If all of these expenses fit into your post-divorce budget, keeping the home may be a good idea, but if you cannot pay them, it may be best to let the home go.

Are You Willing to Give Up Other Marital Assets?

Illinois law requires an equitable distribution of marital property during a divorce. The home is often the most valuable marital asset, meaning that if one spouse were to keep it, the distribution could be heavily skewed in their favor. If you want to keep your home, you may need to prepare to give up your claim to other valuable marital assets or make regular spousal maintenance payments to account for the imbalance.

Will the Home Increase in Value?

The housing market can be unpredictable, but even so, many couples view real estate as a home and a financial investment that they expect to pay off in the future. If you think that your home will increase substantially in value in the coming years, you may be reluctant to let it go or agree to sell it during the divorce. Even if you cannot reach an agreement that grants you sole ownership of the home, you may be able to negotiate to maintain joint ownership with your spouse for a time and sell the home at a later date when you can turn a healthy profit.

Contact a Joliet, IL Divorce Lawyer

At The Foray Firm, we can advise you of your options regarding your marital home and help you make the best decision to protect your financial and personal interests in it. Contact our Will County family law attorneys today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k503.htm

https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/family-finance/articles/2017-10-11/divorcing-should-you-divorce-your-home-too

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