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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County property division lawyer family homeDeciding to get a divorce is a much bigger decision than just choosing to split from your partner. Ending your marriage may potentially mean that you will see your kids less often, and you will need to give up ownership of some of the property you own. Determining how to handle ownership of the family home is often one of the most complex issues to be addressed during divorce. Some divorcing couples choose to sell their house and split the profits, but one person may not want to uproot their life. If both parties wish to continue living in the marital home, then disputes over the division of marital property may be difficult to resolve. If you are looking to retain ownership of your home, you should consider the following:

Determine the Value of the House

If you want to keep your house, you will need to buy out your partner’s share of the equity in the home, and the mortgage will need to be refinanced in your name. The equity is the value of the house minus the amount that is owed on the mortgage. It may be necessary to perform an appraisal or consult with a real estate professional to determine the true value of the home. 

Decide How to Divide the Home’s Equity

Once a proper value has been placed on the home, you will need to determine each spouse’s share of the equity. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that marital assets should be divided fairly between divorcing spouses. A home’s equity may be split evenly between spouses, or another fair and equitable arrangement may be reached. Spouses may be able to negotiate an arrangement between themselves, but if they cannot decide on this or other issues, the ultimate decision may be left up to the judge in their case.

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Lombard divorce lawyer for division of propertyMarriage is like a knot, and that knot can be very tricky to untie if you are getting a divorce. One of the most difficult parts of divorce can be the division of property. Many states use “community property” laws, which say that any assets obtained during a marriage are subject to equal division in the case of a divorce. However, Illinois is not a community property state, and instead, it uses a principle known as “equitable distribution.” This states that assets will be fairly and equitably divided between spouses in just proportions rather than being split 50/50.

Types of Property

There are two types of property that a married couple may own: marital property and separate property. Marital property is defined as all assets and debts obtained by either spouse during a marriage. This includes not just tangible property but also intangible assets. Examples may include vehicles, furniture, clothing, jewelry, bank accounts, trusts, real estate property, and business interests--as long as they were obtained during the marriage. Liabilities such as credit card debts or home and auto loans are also considered marital property. 

Separate property includes any assets that were obtained by one spouse before or after the marriage, as well as any inheritances given solely to one spouse. Marital property will be divided between spouses, but separate property will continue to be owned by the spouse that acquired it.

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