Keeping the Marital Home in Divorce

marital home, division of property, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyWhen a couple decides to end their marriage, there are a number of difficult decisions they must ultimately make. Some of them involve the care and well-being of their children, while some are more financial in nature, such as dividing joint savings accounts. Others, however, seem to straddle the line between financial and familial considerations, and a common point of contention between spouses is determining if one spouse will stay in the marital home and which spouse that will be.

Is Keeping the Home Possible?

The first decision that must be made regarding the home is whether or not it is even possible for one spouse to keep it. A detailed review of the couple’s marital property often shows that their home is, by far, their most valuable asset. In an Illinois divorce, allocation of any asset to either spouse must be done under the state’s equitable distribution guidelines. This means that all marital property is to be divided fairly, not necessarily equally, based upon consideration of factors present in the marriage and divorce.

The marital assets of the couple besides the home may make offsetting its value extremely difficult. Factor in acquired marital debt and it may become impossible. In many cases, a couple will end up selling their home and equitably dividing the proceeds or using them to satisfy debt.

Is it Feasible?

After a review of your marital estate, you have decided that you would like to keep the home. How will you afford to keep it? It is important to remember that keeping the home is an investment. Mortgage payments, upkeep expenses, and tax liabilities will need to be addressed well into the future. If you wish to stay in the house, you must clearly understand how you will be able to meet these obligations.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to include financial considerations regarding the home into your divorce agreement. Instead of cash payments of spousal support, for example, your spouse may be required to maintain the monthly mortgage payments. Likewise, child concerns may also play a role, as the court may require child support to be paid toward home expenses based on the finding that staying in the marital home is the child’s best interest.

Every Case is Unique

The circumstances of your marriage and divorce are unlike those of any other couple, and the outcome of every case is based on the details. If you are considering divorce and would like to know your options about staying in your home, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney today. Call Cosley Law Office to schedule a free consultation so that you can sit down with a qualified legal professional and get the answers you need to start the process.

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