For divorcing spouses, one of the greatest assets you might have is the
family home. Beyond its monetary value, a couple’s home often holds
a great amount of sentimental value, especially if you have children who
might view it as a symbol of familial unity and a source of comfort. You
might be wondering what will happen to it once the marriage is officially over.
No two divorces are alike, however, so the fate of the marital home for
every divorcing couple will differ as well. Some might consider selling
the home and splitting the proceeds, while others might not be able to
opt for this solution due to a lack of equity. If one of you wishes to
keep the house, you must consider if doing so is financially feasible.
Together, keeping it was possible, but you might not be able to maintain
it on your own.
Consider Your Financial Situation
Before you decide whether or not you should keep the house, take a close
look at your financial situation. If you are expected to pay spousal support
to your ex, this might affect your ability to continue to pay the mortgage
on your home. If this is the case, you might have to downsize to something
more affordable for your lifestyle change.
If you are determined to keep the house, and you are paying spousal support,
consider if you are qualified to refinance the mortgage in your name alone.
You and your spouse might be fighting over the home, but it might not
be the prize you both think it is. Getting saddled with the home might
be a disaster if you are unable to afford the payments, maintenance, and upkeep.
Of course, not everyone will find themselves in a situation where keeping
the home is impossible. If both spouses are in a position to keep it,
and are willing to negotiate, one might buy the other spouse out of his
or her share.
Cut the Ties
If your spouse ends up keeping the marital home, you should not keep your
name on the mortgage. Having financial ties to your ex-spouse in the aftermath
of a divorce, even if the split was amicable, can have unpleasant results.
For example, if he or she falls ill and is unable to continue to make
the payments, you will be responsible for it, regardless of your divorce.
One scenario in which it would make sense to keep your name on the mortgage
is if you plan on being co-owners. Divorced spouses often do this when
the housing market is doing poorly and they would rather hold off on selling
the house. In the meantime, the house can be rented out until the real
estate market picks back up. This can be an ideal situation if you and
your ex are on good terms.
Get Assistance with the Asset Distribution Process
At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we understand the complexities of
asset distribution and are well-versed in our state’s divorce laws.
If you are in the midst of a divorce, it is crucial to seek the skilled
and experienced representation of an Illinois divorce attorney.
Contact our office today at (888) 351-2843 for a free consultation.