For some Illinois couples, dividing up the assets can be a drawn-out process characterized by petty disputes. For other couples, the process is much simpler, with both parties agreeing on how to divide all or most of the property. However, simply deciding that one individual should retain possession of a certain asset after divorce — such as a house — may not always be enough.

Marital homes in particular can be tricky when dealing with property division. In many instances, both parties’ names will be on the mortgage. In other situations, only one individual’s name may be on the mortgage, but it may be his or her ex who wants to keep the house. An obvious option is to refinance the loan in only one person’s name. However, if his or her credit does not warrant a refinancing of the mortgage, there are other options.

If a couple had an exceptionally amicable divorce, one spouse could agree to remain on the mortgage so that his or her ex could remain in the home. For people who have children, staying on a mortgage of a home that he or she no longer lives in may feel like an appropriate choice to make. Some consider keeping the marital home as a point of stability in a child’s life.

If neither of these options are appropriate, Illinois couples going through a divorce may have no other option than to sell the home and divide whatever the profits may be. However, this division is not always necessarily equal, as one person may have contributed more to the financial and physical upkeep of a home. No matter what a couple chooses to do with a marital home, carefully evaluating each person’s financial status can provide helpful insight into what options may be most beneficial.

Source:, “Deciding What to Do With the House after Divorce“, Allison Halliday, Nov. 5, 2014