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What to do with the House during Divorce

 Posted on December 11, 2013 in Children

During a marriage, each partner contributes to the overall health and wealth of the relationship. One spouse may have supported the other through school.  Or a spouse may have supported the entire family throughout their career.

But, even if one spouse maintains the home and watches the children, they still provide valuable services to the partnership.  Since both spouses deserve a stake in their shared property, then it is important to have a plan about the biggest part of that property, the family home.

Illinois is an equitable distribution state.  That means both spouses have a claim to a portion of the marital home during the division of property but the split may not exactly be 50/50. Each spouse may want to keep the house and even be willing to fight for it.

Before considering any steps to keep or sell the family home, get your home valued.  It is not a small bit of property that you and your spouse can value together.  Contact a third party professional who has experience with your neighborhood.  The worth of your house should reflect the current market value so that you receive the most for your house no matter what happens.

An easy way to divide a shared house is by selling it.  This is a good plan if neither spouse wants to own or can afford to own the home alone.  Putting the house up for sale can also have disadvantages, such as moving kids and other related expenses.  Irregardless, selling the house can offer a clean break from the past.

If one spouse is interested in staying in the marital home, then they can negotiate a buyout of the other spouse's interests.  This option could be cheaper because it avoids the costs of a sale.  The loan is typically refinanced under one spouse's name and the equity is repaid.  The major downside of buying out a spouse is if both have an interest in keeping the family home.  If it is not set out before in a prenuptial agreement who has first choice on the house, there are other ways to determine priority such as a coin flip, an auction, or even a mediator.

If you have decided to divorce your spouse then it is important to consider what will happen with your family home.  Many other questions will need to be answered during this process.  Contact an experienced DuPage County property division lawyer who can guide you through this difficult time.

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