Many people in Illinois who get divorced must decide if they want to keep the marital home. One of the first things to consider is whether or not the home has much equity. If a home was recently purchased, there may be little or no equity. Usually, the spouse who keeps the home buys the other one out by paying them a one-half equity share.

Another thing to consider is whether the home will be likely to need repairs in the next few years. Many people who can barely afford to pay the mortgage on one income will find that unexpected home repairs are too costly. Having a home inspection before the divorced is finalized is a good idea.

A third thing to think about is refinancing. Even if a spouse signs off on a quitclaim deed granting all rights in a home to the other spouse, both names are still on the mortgage loan contract. If the home can be refinanced in one party’s name, this may prevent problems later on in the event that the spouse who keeps the home falls behind on payments.

An attorney with experience handling divorce litigation may be able to help spouses with property division. Most states divide marital property according to principles of equitable division, which means that each spouse should walk away with half the property accumulated during a marriage.

An attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement agreement or present arguments to a judge about why their client should be allowed to keep certain marital property. For example, if one spouse owns a business, an attorney may be able to help the client leave the marriage with the business assets intact.