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How Is Home Ownership Addressed in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on December 02, 2021 in DIvision of Property

IL divorce lawyerProperty division is one of the key issues that spouses will need to address during the divorce process. All of a couple’s marital property, which includes any assets or debts they acquired during their marriage, will need to be divided. While Illinois law does not require property to be divided equally between spouses, each spouse should receive a fair and equitable share of the marital estate. As spouses determine how to divide property in a way that will provide for their ongoing needs, ownership of their family home will be one of the most important matters to address. By understanding their options, spouses can make decisions that will allow them to move forward with their lives while maintaining financial stability.

Options for Ownership of a Family Home

Real estate property is likely to be one of the most valuable assets owned by a couple. Both spouses may have emotional connections to their home that may make it difficult to decide how to handle ownership going forward. It can often be beneficial to receive an appraisal of the home to ensure that the spouses fully understand its value. After gaining a complete understanding of the full value of the marital estate, spouses can make decisions about how ownership of the home and other assets will be handled.

When addressing homeownership during the divorce process, spouses can generally choose from one of the following options:

  • Sell the home - In many cases, the easiest way to make sure both spouses can move forward is to agree to sell the family home. Any profits earned from the sale may be divided between the spouses. However, spouses should be aware of the potential tax consequences that may apply to the sale, including the possibility that they will be required to pay capital gains taxes. While this option may be the simplest way for both spouses to adjust to new living arrangements, it may not be preferable in some situations, such as when a parent wishes to make sure their children can continue living in the same home and attending the same schools.
  • Sole ownership by one spouse - A person who does not wish to move out of their home may be able to negotiate a property settlement that will allow them to continue owning the property, while the other spouse receives other assets that are equivalent to the value of the equity in the home. In these cases, the other spouse will need to be removed from the deed of the home, and the home’s mortgage will need to be refinanced in the name of the spouse who will continue to own the home. While this option may be preferred by one spouse, it will not always be the most financially beneficial arrangement, especially if a person will struggle to cover mortgage payments and other expenses on a single income.
  • Co-ownership following divorce - If it will not be possible to divide marital property fairly while ensuring that one spouse can maintain sole ownership of the family home, a couple may agree to continue owning the home together after getting divorced. This option is generally not recommended, since it will require a former couple to maintain a financial connection to each other, making it more difficult for them to move forward. However, this may work as a temporary solution that will allow a couple’s children to live in the same community until they reach a certain age. This arrangement may also allow one spouse to save up enough money to purchase the other spouse’s share of the home’s equity in the future.

Contact Our DuPage County Property Division Lawyers

If you need to address issues related to your family home during your divorce, Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC can help you understand your options. Our lawyers are experienced in real estate matters as well as family law, and we can ensure that the proper procedures are followed when selling or transferring ownership of a home during the divorce process. To get legal help with your case, contact our Wheaton divorce attorneys at 630-665-2500.


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