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Should the Family Home Be Sold During a Divorce?

 Posted on March 25, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

Geneva Divorce LawyerWhen a married couple experiences relationship problems, they may encounter multiple different types of issues as they determine whether to attempt to repair their marriage or proceed with a divorce. As spouses begin the process of separating their lives from each other, they will need to make decisions about how to handle ownership of the property they own. During the property division process, a variety of different assets and debts will need to be considered, including the couple’s marital home.

Addressing Ownership of the Marital Home During Divorce

Since the home that a married couple owns is likely to be one of their most valuable assets, it will be important to determine how ownership of the home will be handled going forward and how all types of property can be divided fairly between the spouses. If a couple purchased their home during their marriage, it will be considered marital property, even if it is only titled in the name of one spouse. If one spouse owned a home before the couple was married, it will typically be considered their separate property that will not need to be divided during the divorce process, although the homeowner spouse may be required to reimburse the other spouse for any contributions they made that increased the value of this asset.

For a home that is considered marital property, spouses will generally need to choose one of the following options:

  • Sell the home - This is often the most financially beneficial option for divorcing spouses, and it can also help avoid disputes and ensure that each party will be able to start over and find new living arrangements. After the home is sold, the profits earned from the sale can be divided between the spouses along with any other assets they own.

  • Ownership of the home by one spouse - A person may wish to continue living in their marital home, especially if they want to remain in their community and allow their children to avoid disruption to their living situation and continue attending the same schools. To own the home on their own, a spouse will need to “buy out” the other spouse’s share of the equity, and the other spouse may maintain ownership of other marital assets of an equivalent value. A spouse who maintains sole ownership of their home will need to make sure they will be able to make ongoing mortgage payments while also covering other expenses, including utilities, maintenance, property taxes, and homeowner’s association fees. They will also need to refinance the mortgage in their own name and ensure that the other spouse is removed from the home’s title.

  • Continued co-ownership of the home - While it is generally not recommended, spouses may choose to continue owning their home together after getting divorced. This may be a solution that will ensure that children can continue living in the same home until they graduate from high school. This may also be a good solution in cases where parents agree to use a “birdnesting” arrangement in which each parent has parenting time with children in the family home and lives in their own separate home at other times. Co-ownership will often be a temporary solution, and spouses who choose this option may want to make arrangements for either party to assume sole ownership of the home or sell the property in the future.

Contact Our Geneva Property Division Lawyer

During your divorce, you will want to make sure you are making the right decisions about the ownership of your home and other property. At Loire Krajniak Law, LLC, we can advise you on how you can protect your financial interests and ensure that you will be prepared for success after your marriage has been dissolved. Contact our Kane County asset division attorney at 630-448-2406 to set up a complimentary consultation today.





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