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Who Gets to Keep the Family Home After Our Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerIf you were to ask a divorcing homeowner what their most valuable asset is, it is very likely that they would say it is their home. Not only are houses often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they also usually carry some sort of sentimental value to the people who live in them. Many people have an emotional connection to their family home, especially when they have lived there for years, raised their children in that home, and made so many warm memories there. Unfortunately, you cannot simply just cut a home in half when you get a divorce. One of the biggest arguments that can arise from divorce is determining who gets to claim ownership of the house.

Equitable Division in Illinois

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), all marital property in Illinois is divided in an equitable manner between the spouses. Marital property is considered to be anything that you or your spouse acquired while you were married but before a legal separation. Certain property is excluded from marital property, however. This includes gifts, property acquired by inheritance or legacy, property excluded from the marital estate through a valid prenup or postnup, and any property that was acquired by either spouse before the marriage.

Dividing Your Home’s Value

In most cases, there are typically only three different situations that can come out of this: you can either continue to co-own the home in the same manner, the spouse who wants the home can “buy out” the other spouse for their half of the home, or you can sell the home and split any proceeds you have from the sale:

  • Co-owning the home. Even though this is technically a possibility, it is a bad idea. You should not leave anything co-owned with your spouse when you finalize your divorce. If you do, you could be left on the hook for the mortgage payments, even if your agreement stating the other spouse would be paying that.
  • Buying out the home. If the family home is too sentimental to you, you may want to fight to keep your home. To do this, the best way is to usually pay your spouse for a portion of the value of the home that he or she had claim to. This can be problematic for some families because then you must figure out how to come up with a lot of cash.
  • Selling the home. An option that many people do not want to take is to sell their home. If you cannot afford to buy out your spouse or you simply do not want reminders from your old home, you can list it for sale, sell it and keep the profits after you have split them with your spouse.

Discuss Your Case With Our Oak Brook, IL Property Division Lawyers

It can be heartbreaking to think that the home where you raised your children will no longer be in your family, but sometimes there is no other choice. At Botti Marinaccio, LTD, our team will help you understand all of your options and choose the best one to fit your needs. Our skilled DuPage County property division attorneys will help you through the process so you do not feel alone. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-575-8585





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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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