FAQs: Real Estate & Divorce in Illinois

My house is only titled in my name, is it considered marital?

If the house was bought during the marriage, it is considered marital no matter whether it’s your name on the title, or both you and your spouse’s name on the title. The real estate will be treated as marital property.

What if I bought my house prior to the marriage?

If you bought your house prior to the marriage and it is only titled in your name, it is generally considered non-marital. However, if you bought your house “in contemplation of marriage”, which engaged couples often do, it still could be considered marital. While there are several factors that contribute to this, the leading factor is if the home was bought within one year of the marriage date.

Can I keep the marital home?

Maybe, and it depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Can you afford to keep the home?
    You will need to take in consideration your current income, the stability of your income, your ability to increase your income, your current expenses, and any support you receive from your spouse, whether child support or maintenance (formerly known as alimony). While many people want to keep their children in the home for stability purposes, financial stability is just as important.

  • Does your spouse want to keep the home?
    If he or she doesn’t, then the two of you can reach an agreement. If he or she does want to keep the home, you may need to litigate the issue. Assuming all financial issues have been resolved, the court would likely award the house to the spouse who has the primary custody of the kids.

  • Is there equity?
    For example, if there is $100,000 equity in home and you and your spouse will each get 50% of the equity, you will need to determine a way to pay that $50,000 to your spouse. This could be done a number of creative ways, including from other assets, taking on additional marital debt, establishing a payment plan, or taking less maintenance (formerly known as alimony). It is also possible that you will not have to pay it back at all, depending on your income, your spouse’s income, and other assets and debts.

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