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Should I Keep the Family Home in My Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Division of Property

Kane County divorce lawyerGetting a divorce can be a stressful experience, especially if you feel like your life is being completely upended as you separate from your spouse. As you determine how to divide your marital property and address other financial matters, one issue that will need to be resolved is ownership of your family home. Being attached to the home where you have lived is understandable, and you may wish to continue living there after completing your divorce. However, you will want to be sure to understand the ramifications of this decision and make sure you will be positioned for financial success as you move on following the end of your marriage.

Reasons to Keep the Family Home

Maintaining ownership of your home may seem like the ideal outcome in your divorce, especially if you have lived there for a significant time, built connections with others in your community, and want your children to continue to live in the home they have become accustomed to. After spending years making mortgage payments and building equity in your home, you may not want to give up this valuable asset, especially if you have made improvements and put your own personal touch on the property.

If you believe that you will be able to cover the costs of homeownership, and you want to make sure your children will be able to stay in the same home, you may be able to negotiate a property settlement that will allow you to maintain sole ownership of this asset. If this will not be feasible, you and your spouse may agree to co-own the home for a certain period of time, such as until your children graduate from high school.

Drawbacks of Owning Your Home Following Your Divorce

Financial concerns are the primary issue that may prevent you from maintaining ownership of your family home. When you originally obtained your mortgage, the loan was most likely based on a two-income situation. Without the income earned by your spouse, you will be solely responsible for making mortgage payments, as well as paying other related expenses, such as utilities, repairs, and property taxes, while also covering your other regular expenses.

To remove your spouse’s name from the title of your home, you will need to refinance the mortgage in your own name. It may be difficult to do so, especially if a lender does not believe that you have the financial resources to make ongoing payments. Depending on the amount of equity you own in your home when compared to your other marital assets, you may not have the financial resources to buy out your spouse’s share of the equity. While other arrangements may be made, such as co-owning the home or making ongoing payments to your ex-spouse, these will leave you tied to your ex financially, which may make it difficult to move on from your divorce.

Ultimately, if keeping the home would place you in a difficult financial position, it may not be the best choice for you. As hard as it may be to give up the place where you have lived and built your family, doing so will ensure that you will be able to find a better solution that will allow you to maintain financial stability in the years to come.

Contact Our Kane County Property Division Lawyers

During your divorce, Goostree Law Group can advise you on the best ways to approach the division of your marital property. We will advocate for you throughout the divorce process and help you negotiate a settlement that will allow you to provide for your needs on an ongoing basis. Contact our St. Charles asset division attorneys at 630-584-4800 to set up a complimentary consultation.



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