blog home Property Division Is Sale of the Family Home Necessary During Divorce?

Is Sale of the Family Home Necessary During Divorce?

By Leslie Fineberg on March 14, 2013

When considering a divorce many questions come to mind. While we initially concern ourselves with the well being of our children and our own emotional health, financial matters must also be considered. In the state of Illinois, property or money acquired during the marriage is presumed to belong to the marriage and to be subject to equitable (fair) division upon divorce. Examples of property to be equitably divided during a divorce include the following:

  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement plans, 401k’s, and pensions
  • Stock holdings and stock options
  • Businesses owned or business interests
  • Cars
  • Home furnishings
  • Homes

If your home is a marital asset, meaning the home was acquired during the course of the marriage, the home is normally subject to equitable distribution. According to, there are some creative ways to handle division of the home as a marital asset.

  • You and your spouse could decide to sell the house and share the profit less any outstanding mortgages.
  • If you have small children, then you can request a delay of the sale of the house until such time as your youngest child turns 18. When that time comes, the house would be sold and the profits divided between you and your ex-spouse. For this to work, your spouse would need to agree to wait for his or her share of the equity or profit. An appraisal would be needed to establish the home’s worth at the time of the divorce.
  • During the divorce settlement, one spouse could buy out the other’s share of the home’s equity and remain in the house.
  • Alimony is taxable income. You could save thousands in taxes by waiving alimony in exchange for your spouse’s share of equity in the home.

Divorce can be an emotionally draining time. Financial matters can be complex. You will need the help of an experienced Illinois divorce property division lawyer. At the Chicago law firm of Nottage and Ward, our attorneys have for more than two decades focused solely on divorce and family law — nothing else. If you have financial or legal questions surrounding divorce, call us at (312) 332-2915.

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