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Do I Have to Sell My House in a Divorce?

 Posted on August 01, 2018 in Divorce

One of the biggest concerns with getting a divorce in Illinois is the fear that a party will be forced to sell their house. Indeed, dividing real estate in a divorce can be one of the most complicated parts of the divorce settlement, and individuals are often confused about their rights. If you are getting a divorce and are worried about whether or not you’ll have to sell, here’s a look into what you need to know–

How is Property Divided in a Divorce?

Illinois is what is known as an “equitable distribution” state. In an equitable distribution state, all marital property is subject to equitable–but not necessarily equal–division between the parties. Marital property means all assets and debts that were acquired during the course of the marriage. This means that if you and your spouse both own your house or if one of you purchased the house after you were married, your home must be counted as marital property, and will be subject to division as such.

How is a Home “Divided” Equitably?

Since you are getting a divorce, it is likely that you and your spouse have no plans to continue living in the house or sharing it 50/50 as roommates. This means that a fair arrangement regarding the home must be reached. Some common ways in which real estate is handled in a divorce in Illinois include:

  • One party buys out the other’s percentage of equity of the house;
  • The couple decides to sell the house and split the proceeds;
  • The couple decides to keep the house, with one party living in it but both parties eligible to make decisions about selling the house at a later date and benefiting from proceeds; or
  • One party gets the home in exchange for other property.

As you can see, there are multiple different options available. Selling your house may not be inevitable. However, if no other options are sensible, a judge can order you to sell your house.

I Want to Keep the House – What Do I Do?

If you are dead set on keeping your home in a divorce, you need a skilled lawyer on your side. Your attorney can help you to understand your options and how to negotiate for what you want. In some cases, selling your home may be the only option. For example, you may be forced to sell your home if you have few other assets that can be divided amongst the two of you or if you do not have the finances to purchase your share of the house from your spouse. If saving your house is an option, you will need to be open to compromise. Preserving your home may mean giving up something else you want.

Call Our Naperville Family Law Attorneys to Learn More

We understand that divorce can be stressful, and losing property is not something that anyone wants to think about. To learn more about selling your house in a divorce and alternative options, call our legal team today. Our lawyers serve Wheaton, Naperville, Downers Grove, Lisle, Lombard, Aurora, and surrounding areas.

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