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What It Costs to Keep Your Marital Home During Divorce

Posted on in Division of Assets

What It Costs to Keep Your Marital Home During DivorceMany divorcees prioritize owning their marital home as part of their divorce agreement. There are advantages beyond an emotional attachment to your house. You may have invested money into making the home that you want. Finding a new home will take time and be costly. There is stability in continuing to live in the same home – for yourself and your children. However, it can be expensive to keep your house in your divorce agreement. Your spouse is a co-owner of the house, and you will need to buy them out in order to be the sole owner.

Assessments and Equity

Before you can negotiate what you will pay your spouse for the home, you first need to assess its value. How you determine this may depend on whether you are still paying off a mortgage on the house or you own it outright. You need a valuation of the house in both situations, including:

  • A property value assessment;
  • The estimated market value; and
  • The property’s condition and cost of repairs.

If you have a mortgage, you will need to determine your equity in the home by subtracting what you owe on the mortgage from the house’s value. You will pay your spouse their share of the home equity in exchange for keeping the home. Your spouse may present a different valuation of your house, based on their own assessment. If you cannot agree on the house’s value, you will need to take the issue to a court, which will choose the more accurate assessment value.


Once you know the cost of keeping your marital home, you must figure out how you will pay for it. Your house is part of the division of property, which requires spouses in Illinois to equitably divide their marital properties. You can compensate your spouse by:

  • Giving them properties of similar value to your home or their equity in the home;
  • Borrowing money to pay your spouse;
  • Taking out a home equity line of credit to pay your spouse; or
  • Exchanging future spousal maintenance payments for a lower buyout.

You may need to use a combination of these methods because compensating your spouse for your home can be expensive.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Attorney

The cost of keeping a home after a divorce is more than what you pay your spouse. As the sole owner, you will be responsible for mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, and other home expenses. You may need to sell the house if you cannot afford these continued expenses. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can help you determine what you should do with your marital home. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.


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