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Dealing with your mortgage in a divorce

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2023 | Divorce |

If you are considering divorce, one of the major decisions you and your spouse may need to make is what to do with your Illinois family home. While many couples initially concentrate on child custody and parenting time, valuing the house and deciding what to do with it is a crucial step as it is usually the largest asset owned.

Options for your mortgage

Whether you own the home outright or have a mortgage, you must address the property’s equity during your divorce negotiations. You’ll have several choices, including:

  • Selling the property and splitting the profits
  • Jointing keeping the home, using it as an investment property
  • Selling it to your spouse who continues to live there

If you decide to remain in the home, your spouse will get assets of equal worth. Among the assets the couple can use for compensation are bank and retirement accounts, vehicles or other physical items. Before deciding to keep the house on your own, evaluate whether you can afford to keep it on your own. Not only must you factor in mortgage costs, but you’ll also become solely responsible for maintenance and property taxes.

Other tasks you’ll need to accomplish include retitling the property. This requires a quitclaim deed from your spouse relinquishing ownership. Once completed, you can either assume the mortgage or refinance it.

The challenges of property division

Another alternative if you have young children is to jointly keep the home until they are grown and move out. If you and your spouse feel that this step is in the best interests of your children, you may incorporate this into your divorce agreement and sell the home at a later date. Whatever you decide, this property division issue is a challenging, often time-consuming step, especially if you have amassed considerable assets during your marriage.

Consider working with a certified divorce financial analyst when determining what to do with your home. These professionals can help you understand what you can afford in your post-divorce life and offer suggestions for how you can equitably split the assets you accumulated during your marriage.