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What to do about the family home in a divorce

Some people in Illinois who are going through a divorce might also be getting custody of the children and want to keep the family home to lessen the upheaval they feel. Others may simply want to keep the house because they are attached it. Whatever the reason, the first step in keeping a home is to determine its value and how much of that value is owned by each spouse. Next, one spouse usually has to buy the other out.

Couples often agree to do this by having one of them take a larger share of the assets than the other. For example, one might keep a retirement account, a car or other property in exchange for the value of the home. Borrowing money is another option. Some people may be fortunate enough to get help from family or friends.

Others may want to look into getting a loan. This might be a home equity line of credit or a refinance. However, this may not be feasible. In some cases, even when it is financially possible, keeping the home might not be the best financial decision.

During divorce negotiations, it can be important for people to not get overly attached to certain outcomes, such as keeping one particular piece of property. There may be important points on which the person does not want to compromise, and it can be helpful to discuss those with an attorney ahead of time. This can help as the couple proceeds with negotiations. People should try to avoid being led by their emotions in these negotiations. Even if they feel guilty or angry about the divorce, their priorities should be the best interests of their children and protecting themselves financially. Couples who cannot reach an agreement through negotiations might have to go to court.

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