During the divorce process, people often struggle with the decision of whether to keep the family home or move on. Some may be concerned about selling the marital home when children under the age of 18 are present, hoping to keep some aspects of their kids’ lives stable in the face of divorce. Others, who may be splitting up later in life, may have adult children in college and want their children to have a warm, familiar place to return to for holidays and breaks. Sometimes, it is just too hard to walk away from a home where so many memories were established and face the tough job of starting anew.
Although keeping the family home might be a good fit under some circumstances, there are many issues to consider. When couples separate, maintaining two households will increase expenses, which can make it more difficult to afford mortgage payments, property taxes and maintenance of a home. Sometimes, downsizing or renting for a few years may be more financially prudent than staying in a home despite the emotional attachment.
Along the same financial line, there is also the issue of capital gains tax if one spouse decides to keep the home. For example, as a couple, a husband and wife selling their home may exclude $500,000 in capital gains before tax is owed. However, if one spouse takes sole title to the property and sells the house down the road, the amount excluded from taxes will be far less, potentially resulting in significant taxes owed by that spouse.
In cases where one spouse remains in the home without refinancing in his or her own name, the debt will remain both spouses’ responsibility. Sometimes, this may make it difficult for the spouse who has abandoned the home to qualify for other financing as they try to put their lives back together. Usually this is a situation where parents are looking out for the best interests of their children, but certainly a couple will want to consider the impact of such an arrangement and also make provisions for who will be taking care of maintenance, taxes while one spouse resides in the home and what the end game looks like.
Questions on Keeping the House in an Illinois Divorce?
Contact an Experienced Illinois Marital Property Division Attorney
When making decisions regarding the division of marital property in a divorce, whether it is the family home or retirement accounts, it is important to look at the big, long-term picture to secure your financial future first and foremost. Because there are many issues that couples have to consider when divorcing, it is in your best interests to have an experienced divorce lawyer help you navigate the process. For more than 30 years clients have counted on Ronald L. Bell for assistance with family law matters. Contact the Libertyville, Illinois family law offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates for answers to your questions regarding Illinois marital property division, child support and child custody concerns, spousal maintenance or any family law matter.