The single biggest asset for most couples is the family home and when couples divorce, they must make a decision on what to do with the house. While many couples decide to sell their home and simply split the profit, one of them may want to keep the home, especially if children are present.
If you and your spouse decide that one of you will remain in the home, keep in mind that you are not off the hook for the mortgage. Until your spouse refinances the house in his or her own name, you will be responsible for timely payments on the joint account. As far as the mortgage company is concerned, you still owe the debt until you don’t, so it may be better to make a clean cut to avoid your credit taking a major hit if your ex falls behind on the payments. Even if this seems unlikely, remember that you may have trouble qualifying for another home loan as long as you remain on the mortgage with your ex, which could very well put a crimp in your style should you decide to remarry down the road.
If you want to buy the home from your spouse there are a few options. You could offset his or her portion of the equity with other assets – a trading of one asset for another. You may also consider giving up an entitlement to spousal maintenance in exchange for the house. However, when exchanging assets, it is best to have an experienced family law attorney to run the numbers for you to make sure you are getting a fair shake, especially when considering taxes now and your taxes in the future. If you prefer to simply refinance, you may want consider a cash out refinance, which can provide additional funds for a buyout as well as additional funds to consolidate debt.
Illinois Marital Property Division Attorney
If you have questions regarding keeping the family home in a divorce and the division of marital assets in an Illinois divorce, contact the Illinois marital property division Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates for more information today at 847-495-6000.