Divorce is usually a time of drastic changes. Everything from your normal breakfast routine to where you sleep at night goes out the window during divorce. For many couples, selling the home becomes a necessity to manage finances. As the two spouses split up and live in different locations, paying the mortgage on top of rent becomes unmanageable, particularly when the two parties have to pay separate utilities and a plethora of other expenses that used to be shared. In fact, 61 percent of divorced couples end up selling the home. However, not all soon-to-be divorced couples sell the home, and in some cases, this is the best decision if at all possible.
If You Have to Sell the Home
Finances or moving out of town are two of the most common reasons that divorced couples sell their home. Selling the home can provide the best way to split the value of the property during division of assets, can allow both parties financial footing to start off anew, and can minimize stressful costs by getting rid of an expensive mortgage. After all, if one party ends up owning the house, they may not even be able to cover the mortgage by themselves. If you are selling your home during divorce, make sure to follow the tips below:
- Discuss the full plan with your spouse before taking any other actions, as well as the pros and cons of selling or staying;
- Divide the costs of cleaning, maintenance, renovations, and any other repair work evenly or at least keep close track of the costs;
- Choose a realtor together;
- Keep dialogue open with your spouse during the sale;
- Hire an attorney before the sale goes through; and
- Divide the assets. Marital property in Illinois is divided equitably.
Choosing to Keep the Home
For parents who can afford to keep the home, the stability that brings to your children may outweigh any other positives that selling the home has to offer. Additionally, older divorces may benefit by holding onto a home that they own outright. After all, late-life divorces are much more common now than in the past. In 2014, Americans over the age of 50 were twice as likely to get divorced than 50-plus-year-old Americans in 1990. For divorcing couples that choose not to sell the home, they, along with their attorneys, need to figure out an equitable way to divide assets, since the home (usually) cannot continue to belong to both parties. And, if there is a mortgage left to pay, the spouses must reach a decision on who is responsible for paying what. In some cases, the spouse who no longer lives in the home may be responsible for paying part of the mortgage.