When you and your spouse are considering how to divide your property in your divorce, the home that you shared during the marriage can quickly become a point of contention. Depending upon your family’s circumstances, you each may have a significant sentimental attachment to the home and, therefore, you each would prefer to keep it when the proceedings are finalized. Realistically, however, only one of you will get to keep the home, and, many divorce cases, in fact, result in the sale of the marital home to facilitate a more equitable division of the couple’s marital property.
While there are exceptions, your marital home is likely to be the single largest asset you and your spouse own. You may, for example, have more valuable investments or savings, but such funds are usually easier to divide in a divorce. Your home, by comparison, is not able to be split into two portions, which means that you and your spouse—or the court, if necessary—will need to be more creative in finding a solution. Doing so is generally necessary because Illinois law mandates that, during your divorce, your marital property is to be divided in a manner that is equitable and just, based upon your unique situation.
Sale or Buyout Option
In some cases, one spouse may be able to keep the marital home while the other is allocated other assets to offset the home’s value. In other situations, however, there may not be many other assets or neither spouse may have a strong inclination to keep the house. In still others, the spouses may agree that a decision regarding the home can be made at a later date.
Take, for example, the scenario that was recently before an Illinois appeals court from a case originating in Cook County. In this case, a divorcing couple reached their own marital settlement agreement in 2003 which stipulated that the husband would maintain possession of the marital home but the spouses would continue to be tenants in common—meaning they both had an ownership interest in the property. The agreement provided a deadline in 2007 by which the husband was required to put the home on the market or buy out the wife’s interest. The agreement also specified how appraisals would be completed and a minimum amount the wife was to receive whether the house was sold or not. (The issue before the appeals court was a finding of contempt due to the husband failing to comply with the agreement, but agreement itself was upheld as reasonable.)
We Can Help
When real estate concerns, including the marital home, are at issue in a divorce, you need professional guidance from a team who understands the law. Contact an experienced Kane County divorce attorney to get help with your case. Call 630-377-7770 for a free consultation at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. today.