For many Illinois couples, their house or condo is their most valuable asset. It is thus not surprising that an impending divorce can create a fair amount of concern about what will happen to their home. Several considerations come into play, including whether the home will need to be sold and when the sale should take place.
While the phrase "Who gets the house?" is often associated with divorce, many couples choose instead to sell the home. One reason for this is that the property is associated with the disappointment and bad feelings that eventually led to the split. Another is that selling the home may make property division easier.
Some couples choose to try and sell the home during the divorce proceedings. When this happens, it is important for there to be some agreement on who gets to remain in the home during the selling process. This kind of discussion can be particularly challenging if there are minor children involved, but it is a necessary negotiation for the home sale to go forward.
If a couple decides to sell the home after the divorce, they can negotiate how the proceeds should be divided. The timing could also depend upon the state of the market and whether the house is worth more than the mortgage balance.
Because of the complexities homeowners face when getting divorced, the couple should meet with their respective family law attorneys to discuss the matter and see which of the alternatives makes the most sense for their situations. If the sale will be postponed until after the divorce is finalized, legal counsel can prepare appropriate language to be made part of the decree.