Once a homeowning couple in Illinois decides to get divorced, further decisions must be made: Who is going to move out? Should one of us try to keep the house, or sell it and split the proceeds? While each couple’s answers will depend on their unique situation and long-term financial goals, there are some things every couple should think about before they make a major decision about homeownership after divorce.
Homeownership on One Income is Challenging
Many people, especially mothers who are reluctant to move their children during all the upheaval of a divorce, will negotiate other marital assets to keep the family home. But those who do this often find themselves with no savings plus the major financial burden of keeping a house afloat with just one income. If even a minor financial crisis arises, such as a spouse who stops paying child support or spousal support for any reason, the family may have no cash reserves to fall back on and the house could be in jeopardy. Experts recommend taking time to negotiate an equitable asset division that carefully considers whether maintaining a home on one income is feasible for either partner.
Selling a Home Is Not Free
While a couple may dislike the idea of only one spouse owning the home after a divorce, selling a home has costs associated with it as well. Real estate agent commissions, inspections, repairs, and deposits or down payments on new residences can quickly eat through any equity a couple has in their home. Some experts say that the cost of selling a house can be as much as 10 percent of the sales price. If one spouse wants to keep the home while the children finish growing, but anticipates selling the home just a few years later, he or she will have to shoulder the entire burden of the expenses associated with selling....