A couple may seek a divorce based on irreconcilable differences. In due process, it is imperative for a couple to obtain a financial order from a court in order to settle financial obligations towards each other. One of the most challenging aspects of divorce is property division, especially a marital home. In some instances, divorcing couples mutually agree on terms about the fate of their family home, however, if couples reach to an impasse, then a family court will take decision about ownership of a marital house. A court will decide based upon several circumstances and on what represents an equitable and fair distribution of marital assets.
If you are going through a divorce and willing to retain access to your marital home, then it can be highly beneficial for your case to get assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer, who may be able to protect your rights.
What qualifies as marital home?
A court must determine whether a home qualifies for a marital home or separate property as the latter remains in sole possession of owner, and is not divisible between couples. Assets owned by spouses before marriage and any inheritances or gifts received during course of a wedding are usually considered as separate assets.
However, a property obtained after a marriage is considered as marital property and may be subjected to division. Usually, a family home is considered marital property. If a family home was owned by one spouse prior to marriage, it may qualify as a separate property; however, if the other spouse contributed towards development or mortgage payment of the property, it may now be categorized as marital property
Division process of marital property in Illinois
Illinois law states that a marital home must be divided equitably and fairly between spouses going through a divorce. The equitably, however, does not refer to 50/50 splits. As a matter of fact, it is extremely rare that a property is split evenly between a couple. A court takes many factors into considerations before deciding about the division of marital property such as financial circumstances of each couple, custodial arrangements, length of their marriage, mental and physical health of each partner, source of property, to name a few.
For example, in case a couple owns multiple high-value assets such as vehicles, retirement accounts, and investment properties, etc., then a court may give the possession of a house to a spouse who is the primary caregiver of their children, while the other spouse may be awarded a larger portion of assets, which may represent their share in equity of their home. However, if the option to offset their assets is not available, then a court may order the couple to obtain a valuation of a marital home, sell it, and then split obtained amount equitably.
If you have filed for divorce and are willing to contest for your family home or want to schedule a free consultation, contact Casement Law Group at (847) 888-9300 to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer about your options.