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Home Sales Post-Divorce

Posted on in DIvision of Property

According to The American Institute of Stress and the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, divorce is the second-most stressful thing a person can go through; second only to the death of a spouse. Marital separation is third on the list of the most stressful things a person can go through. Not far down on the list (#28) is a "major change in living condition," which, incidentally, usually happens during a divorce. Selling a home during or after a divorce, then, is one of the most stressful and difficult things a person can go through—especially if there are children involved. Oftentimes, more often if the divorcing couple has kids, people will opt to keep the home of un-wedded un-bliss, despite the emotional baggage it may carry.

If one member of the couple decides to keep the house, it can be an easier situation. In many divorces, as Deborah Innocenti, a real estate agent in New Jersey told the Chicago Tribune, "listing the home becomes another huge symbol of their losses," which can lead to not only increased emotional stress but financial stress as well. Yet many couples cannot afford to pay a mortgage on a house intended to be paid by two working adults; thus selling the house is the only option.

Many couples, kids or not, however, need a clean break from the memories and associations that the house carries. If you're going through a divorce and considering putting the house on the market, there are several things you should think about:

  • Deciding when to put the property on the market—it's important to weigh the market and wait for an opportune time, but consider how long you can realistically live with your ex and how emotional it could be to do so
  • Deciding how to price the house
  • Deciding with whom kids will live
  • Deciding (before listing) what percentage of proceeds will go to which partner

Knowing how and when to sell your home during a divorce is just one of the many complicated processes that are a part of a marital split. Don't go through it alone. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, contact an experienced Chicago-area divorce attorney today.

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