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Keeping the marital home after a divorce

Individuals who are going through divorce in Illinois may need to decide if they want to keep the marital home after the divorce is finalized. The spouse who keeps the home usually pays the other spouse their half of the equity and assumes the mortgage debt. There are several important factors to weigh when deciding whether or not to keep the home after a divorce.

It is important to keep in mind that when one spouse signs a quitclaim deed granting the other the rights to the marital home, the underlying legal obligations on the loan are still in effect because the names of both parties are on the contract. If the spouse who is keeping the home after divorce fails to make payments, this could affect the other spouse's credit.

Individuals who want to keep the home should consider the equity that has been invested in the home and whether or not any problems are likely to arise in the next several years that they may not be able to afford to fix. Having a home inspection before signing off on a property settlement agreement is a good idea. Anyone who is considering keeping a marital home should also have a title search conducted to check for any hidden liens or debts.

An attorney with experience handling divorce litigation may be able to help clients negotiate an agreement that allows them to keep the property that is most important to them. A spouse who wants to keep the marital home but is unable to afford to pay the other spouse their equity share may be able to negotiate to trade other assets for the equity share, like a vehicle or furniture. An attorney may help clients ensure that any agreement is fair and explain the consequences they might face if they keep certain property such as outstanding debt on a mortgage.

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