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Buying out a spouse’s share of the home in a divorce

When Illinois couples who own a home get a divorce, one may want to buy out the other. However, the person should first find out the answer to several important questions. One is how much equity is in the home. This can be determined in several different ways. A full appraisal is the most accurate, but it can be expensive and time-consuming, so some couples opt for quicker methods.

Next, it is necessary to determine how much one spouse owes the other for the house. Since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, it might not be 50 percent although if both spouses contributed equally to the mortgage and upkeep, it might be. People will also need to determine what kind of mortgage they will need. This can vary depending on whether there are other assets the person can put toward the buyout or if the person will take cash out from the property.

People who are able to qualify for refinancing on their own can complete it before the divorce is final. The advantage of doing this is that it can settle what is often an area of conflict early and give the person keeping the home a better basis for post-divorce budgeting. People should also be aware of how the refinancing might change the interest rate.

The person who wants to keep the family home in the divorce should make sure other aspects of owning the home are also affordable. This could include taxes, upkeep, insurance, and utilities. If the two spouses agree to trade off some assets in the divorce, they should be mindful about this as well.