What You Need to Know About Dividing Real Estate Property in Divorce
If you are facing divorce, there are many important things to consider, including how to divide any real estate property you and your spouse own. Whether you own a home, rental properties, or other real estate investments, it is important to make sure these assets will be handled correctly during the process of dividing your marital property. Determining how to divide your marital home or other real estate property can become complicated during a divorce, and by understanding your options, you can make decisions that will protect your financial interests going forward.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
Illinois law follows the principle of "equitable distribution" when determining how marital property should be divided between divorcing spouses. This does not mean that all property will be split 50/50; rather, all marital assets should be divided in a fair or equitable way. Generally speaking, equitable distribution will take into account any contributions made by both parties throughout the marriage as well as any special circumstances or factors such as age, health, or earning potential. This means that when divorcing spouses address ownership of their marital home or other real estate, multiple factors may be considered, including whether it is preferable for one party to maintain ownership of the home to ensure that children will not be uprooted from their community, whether sole ownership by one party will be financially feasible, and whether other arrangements may need to be made to make sure both parties will have the means to support themselves after their marriage has ended.
How Is Real Estate Property Divided?
Generally, couples will have three options for dividing real estate property during divorce:
Sell the property - If neither party has the means to maintain sole ownership of property, selling it may be the best option. In these cases, the spouses will be able to share equally in the equity they own in their home, and they can divide the profits they earned through the sale. This can help ensure that both parties will have the financial resources to find new accommodations, such as renting a house or apartment or purchasing a new home that they can afford on their own.
Sole ownership - If one spouse has the means to purchase the other spouse's share of equity in a property and continue making mortgage payments on their own, they may complete a "buyout" that will allow them to continue owning the property going forward. In these cases, the spouse who plans to own the property will need to be sure they will be able to afford to do so, since in addition to ongoing mortgage payments, they will be responsible for expenses such as utilities, maintenance, and property taxes.
Continuing co-ownership - If a buyout by one spouse will not be possible, but one or both parties wish to continue living in their home, a couple may choose to continue to own property together after getting divorced. This may be a solution in situations where a parent plans to continue living with their children in their home until the children graduate from high school. This option is generally not recommended, since it will require a couple to remain legally and financially tied together after they are no longer married, and disputes may arise over issues such as who is responsible for paying different expenses. If a couple chooses this option, it is a good idea to make sure they fully understand their responsibilities and financial obligations, and they may also wish to make plans to sell the property in the future.
Contact Our DuPage County Marital Property Division Lawyers
Dividing real estate property during a divorce can be complicated, and it is important to consider the legal and financial implications of the decisions made in these situations. Understanding how to address these issues correctly is essential for protecting your rights throughout the divorce process and ensuring that you will be able to maintain financial success after your marriage has ended. The Oakbrook Terrace asset division attorneys of Farooqi & Husain Law Office can advise you of your options and help you resolve disputes related to your property and finances. Contact us at 630-909-9114 to set up a consultation and learn how we can help with your divorce.