Pros and Cons of Keeping Marital Home in Divorce

marital property negotiations, Illinois divorce attorney, marital estate division,In years past, when divorce seemed simpler and family finances were usually guaranteed by pension plans and a Social Security fund that was not facing the possibility of running out, keeping the marital home during divorce was a boon. Today, when couples divorce, it is often the spouse who is awarded the home who is pitied. This has as much to do with uncertain financial futures – for divorcing couples at both ends of the financial solvency spectrum – as it does with the national housing market itself. In many cases, spouses who get to keep the marital home are left with an asset that is steadily declining in value or, worse yet, an underwater mortgage.

Selling the marital home during divorce has its own set of problems. One spouse may opt to sell the home for much less than it is worth, in an arguably ostentatious display of so-called selflessness. The other spouse, perhaps especially if he or she was not the primary earner in the marriage, may want to sell the home at a much higher price than it may even be worth. Other issues may include where the kids go to school and who is awarded custody, as well as issues of family care in the event that either spouse has aging parents or other spatial and financial issues to face in the coming years.

The trick is that selling the marital home is oftentimes crucial if you are facing a reduced income after the divorce is finalized. If you were the primary earner in the marriage, you may be obligated by the Court to pay alimony, which can cause a significant reduction in your annual net income. Many ex-spouses who kept the home after divorce were able to sell it much later for a significantly increased price than they would have been able to sell it if they had done so immediately after the divorce process. Yet if the home is not readily salable and the family has access to other assets, the house could become a liability instead of a commodity to hold onto.

If you or someone you know is considering divorce and has questions about divorce finances or any other aspect, the importance of working with a family lawyer cannot be overstated. Contact an experienced Aurora divorce attorney today.

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