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What to do with the family home in property division negotiations

A divorcing couple in Illinois that decides to negotiate their divorce settlement out of court can save time and money. Even so, certain aspects of the property division process can be challenging. One of those may be deciding who will keep the family residence -- and whether maintaining it will be a wise choice.

If the existing mortgage on the home was obtained by using the income of both spouses to qualify, it might be difficult for one spouse to afford it. Careful consideration of all the expenses to maintain the home must include mortgage payments, property tax, insurance premiums, utilities, maintenance and yard work. Then the affordability of renting can be compared. This will likely include a one-time cost of moving, including utility hookups and security deposits.

If one spouse can afford to maintain the family home, he or she might have to refinance it. Buying out the other spouse's interest with property transfer or cash is also an option. Some couples decide to maintain the home for the use of the custodial parent and the children. Both parents might then share the expenses -- an option often chosen by parents of young children who will reconsider their options when the children are older.

If keeping the home is not an option, the couple may decide to sell it and share any proceeds that are left after the mortgages and liens are settled. The house is but one of the difficult decisions to make during property division negotiations. An experienced divorce attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout the process.

Source:, "The Out-of-Court Dividing of Assets After a Divorce", Accessed on Nov. 10, 2017

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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