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Uncontested Divorce & Marital Settlement Agreements: The Home

Particularly with the current housing market, people getting divorced are concerned with what to do with their home. Today, many people are trying to figure out how NOT to get stuck with the home – instead of maneuvering to keep it. If you are interested in an uncontested divorce, dealing with your home – and its mortgage – should be one of your first priorities. If you are interested in an uncontested divorce in Chicago, Illinois, I can help; contact me – an uncontested divorce lawyer in Chicago.

To sell, or not the sell. That is the question.

Here are some options for dealing with your home in an uncontested divorce.

  1. Sell the home. The house can be sold prior to the divorce, but then the division of the proceeds, if any, will be not certain until a settlement has been reached. Therefore, a marital settlement agreement (MSA) can be drafted such that it contains a clause that provides a framework for selling the home. For example, an appraiser and broker can be specified so that the ex-spouses need to be minimally involved when the post-divorce house marketing process begins.
  2. Refinance. If one spouse is to keep the house after the divorce, the spouse that will remain in the house will often refinance the house in his or her name. But beware, you can’t just call up the mortgage company and say, “I’m getting divorced, can you take my spouse off the loan?” There are procedures to be followed. For example, the person who is going to be the sole borrower on the refinanced loan must qualify as such. If this is the option you choose, it is likely that your MSA will need a custom-crafted clause addressing refinancing the home.
  3. Hybrid/Other. There are a variety of ways ex-spouses can share responsibility for a home. For example, both names can be on the title, and one spouse can contribute to the mortgage payments. However, there are many details to work out, such as what happens in the mortgage becomes delinquent, what happens if the person living in the home does not properly maintain it, and so forth.
The financial benefits of an uncontested divorce are overwhelming. Therefore, it may benefit people seeking an uncontested divorce in Chicago to carefully consider all aspects of their divorce. Once a basic agreement is reached, an Illinois family law attorney an help you draft a sensible marital settlement agreement. Feel free to contact me about your uncontested divorce in Chicago or Illinois.
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About the author: Contact Illinois family law attorney David Wolkowitz at 312-554-5433 or online. He is a family law and divorce attorney serving Chicago and the Counties of Cook, Champaign, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Areas of practice include divorce, uncontested divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, child support, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (the “UCCJEA”).