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Who Keeps the House in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on November 22, 2023 in Property Division

IL divorce lawyerIf you and your spouse achieved your goal of becoming homeowners during your marriage, either you or the court will need to determine what to do with the home during your divorce. A house is often a married couple’s most valuable asset. It is also - plainly - not possible to cut a house in half so you can each keep your share. While using tape to divide living space might work briefly in comedies, it is almost certainly not a practical solution in real life. Under Illinois law, all marital property is to be divided equitably. “Equitably” means in a way that is as fair as possible to both parties in light of all the facts and surrounding circumstances. If this decision is left to the court, it will consider a lot of different factors to decide what is fair. You and your spouse also have the option of using mediation to establish your own solution. It is very important to be represented by your own attorney, even if your divorce is amicable. 

When the Court Divides Real Estate

Many spouses going through divorce tend to think that one spouse is likely to be given the house with no strings attached. It rarely works out that way, unless there are some extenuating circumstances. Often, when one spouse does in fact keep the house as their sole property, it is because the pair has young or disabled children who would be better off continuing to live in the home they are familiar with. However, the spouse who does not keep the home is likely to be compensated for giving up their ownership interest in the house in some way. 

In some cases, the court may decide that it is most fair for the parent who has the children most of the time to keep residing in the marital home. However, the court would likely grant other valuable property to the spouse who must move out. So, one spouse may keep the house, but the other may keep a larger share of the stock portfolio or retirement savings. In rare cases, the court may decide that the only fair course of action is to order the house sold and the profits split.

If you and your spouse can reach an agreement, you can choose a much more creative or personally satisfactory way of dividing your interest in the home. Some spouses have come up with very unique methods of dividing a home that work very well for them. 

Contact a Will County, IL, Divorce Attorney

Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. is skilled in helping spouses find the best possible solutions for dividing their real estate in divorce. Our experienced Naperville, IL, divorce lawyers, will strive to protect your interest in your marital home. Contact us at 630-355-7776 for a complimentary consultation. 

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