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Do I Have a Right to the Marital Home in My Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorney property division

Out of all the properties that must be divided in an Illinois divorce, the home in which the couple and their family lived often causes the most conflict and disagreement. Not only is it typically the most valuable asset that a couple shares, it also serves as a place of shelter and comfort, and in many cases, it inspires strong emotional attachment. However, the reality is that it is almost never reasonable for divorced spouses to continue living in the same home, so a difficult decision will likely need to be made. As you prepare to divide your marital property, below are some questions that could complicate decisions regarding the marital home.

Is the Home Considered Marital Property?

Many married couples choose to purchase a home together, with both spouses’ names on the mortgage and deed. When this is the case, the home will almost certainly be included in the division of marital property. Even if only one spouse’s name is listed, the home will likely be considered marital property if it was purchased during the marriage, especially if it served as the couple’s primary residence.

However, there are some cases in which the home where the couple lives may be considered the non-marital property of one spouse. One common example is in the case of a second marriage, in which one spouse may have moved into a home that the other already owned. Illinois law also states that property is not considered marital just because it was acquired in contemplation of marriage, so a home purchased by one partner during an engagement prior to marriage may be considered non-marital. If the home is considered to be the non-marital property of your spouse, it will likely be difficult for you to achieve an outcome in which you can continue living there.

Where Will the Children Live?

If you have children under the age of 18 at the time of your divorce, decisions regarding parenting time and parental responsibilities can influence decisions related to the marital home. It is generally in the children’s best interests to minimize interruptions to their accustomed routine, and if one parent is allocated a larger share of parenting time after the divorce, it may be important for that parent to continue living in the home that the children are used to. This arrangement can be negotiated between spouses who are willing to cooperate, but the court will also take parenting time into consideration if the decision must be litigated.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer 

If it means a lot to you to keep your family home in your Illinois divorce, the Kane County property division attorneys at The Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC can help you explore your legal options. We will pursue an approach with the goal of helping you achieve your desired outcome. Contact us today at 847-428-7725 to arrange a free initial consultation.





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