Who Keeps the Family Home After Divorce?

 Posted on April 08, 2024 in Division of Assets

IL divorce lawyerEstablishing two separate households - one for each former spouse - can be one of the more costly and inconvenient aspects of divorce. Whether you and your spouse own your home or rent an apartment, it is likely that one of you will remain in the marital home and one of you will need to move out and find a new residence. However, there are other options if this proves impractical or is simply not your preference. In Illinois, all marital property is to be divided in a fair and equitable manner. Whether you own the property or have an ownership interest in your tenancy agreement, the place where you and your spouse lived together will likely be subject to equitable division. A DuPage County, IL divorce lawyer can help you understand what the possible outcomes may include. 

How do Illinois Courts Decide Which Spouse Can Stay in the Marital Residence? 

Illinois courts will consider a number of factors to determine which spouse should keep the marital home. Relevant factors and potential outcomes may include:

  • Each spouse’s contribution - If one spouse owned the home outright before marriage, that spouse likely made a far greater contribution to it. However, if the other spouse contributed significantly to improving or raising the value of the home, that spouse may be entitled to some equity. He or she may receive this value back in the form of other property or money.
  • Other property claimed - While 50/50 division is not the law - or the goal - the court will consider the value of other property assigned to each spouse to achieve a more fair distribution of marital assets. 
  • Each party’s financial position - If one party is unlikely to be able to establish a residence in his or her own name because that party was a homemaker, this will be important. Courts typically avoid any arrangements that would likely leave either party homeless or unable to meet his or her basic needs. 
  • Parental responsibilities - The court will want to make sure that the parent who will be spending more time caring for the children can provide a stable home. This may mean that the parent with primary custody is somewhat more likely to keep the family home, especially if caring for a child with special needs will interfere with that party’s ability to work. 

Spouses who use uncontested divorce may have a bit more flexibility in how they choose to divide their interest in the marital home. One option may be to sell the home if you own it, and to use those funds to establish separate households.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney

Andrew Cores Family Law Group will help you protect your interest in your marital residence. Our dedicated DuPage County, IL division of marital property lawyers will work to achieve an uncontested divorce if possible. Attorney Cores is a Fellow for the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois. Contact us at 630-871-1002 for a complimentary consultation.

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