Dealing with the primary residence in a divorce

On behalf of Lake Toback Attorneys

The division of marital property can often be a contentious process for divorcing Chicago couples, and the fate of the primary residence is frequently at the center of some heated exchanges. The family home is usually the most valuable asset that a couple contends with during a divorce, but strong emotional ties can often make negotiating its fate a tricky path to navigate.

The first thing that needs to be established is the property’s value. While this may seem a simple matter to resolve, it sometimes requires a detailed comparative analysis. Once the value has been agreed upon, the next step is to decide if the home will be sold. If neither party wishes to remain in the house, it can be disposed of and the proceeds can be split between the parties. However, things become more complicated if one spouse wishes to continue living in the residence.

The first consideration is affordability. A home that required two incomes to maintain may be too much for a single spouse, and difficult financial questions will need to be addressed. Assuming that income and budget considerations are not a factor, the next hurdle is compensating the spouse who will not remain in the home. Sometimes there are other marital assets that can be allocated to offset the lost home equity, while in other cases the spouse who wishes to remain in the home may have to borrow the necessary funds.

The divorce process can often be emotionally draining, but the decisions made can have profound long-term consequences. A family law attorney may understand the stresses that clients are under, and he or she could offer advice which may help them avoid some of the pitfalls that many couples fall into.

Source: The Huffington Post, “What to Do With Your House in a Divorce Case“, Christian Denmon, December 09, 2013

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Dealing with the primary residence in a divorce