The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Who Gets the House in an Illinois Divorce? 

Posted on in Division of Property

aurora divorce lawyerThe marital home is often the most valuable asset a couple shares. Often, a couple lives there with their children for many years. It is in the marital home that a family experiences some of their most important moments together. 

But in a divorce, a couple’s assets must be divided and this includes the home. If you are considering a divorce, you may be wondering what happens to the home and whether one spouse will get to keep it. In this article, we will answer some of the common questions about what happens to the marital home in a divorce. Keep in mind that an experienced divorce attorney is the best source for answers to your questions. 

If I Move Out, Do I Lose Access to My House Forever? 

Ownership of the house is not permanently decided until a divorce is final. Even though one spouse will likely want to move out in order to avoid conflict during divorce proceedings, moving out will not affect a spouse’s right to their portion of the home’s value. 

If spouses cannot agree about who will move out while a divorce is pending, one spouse can petition for exclusive possession of the marital home. Unless and until this petition is granted, spouses cannot change locks on the house. If appropriate, an Order of Protection may also prevent one spouse from going to the home. 

If I Move Out, Will I Lose Visitation With My Children? 

During divorce proceedings, Illinois judges are sensitive to the challenges that repeated change can cause children, and tend to favor the status quo as far as children are concerned. If one parent moves out, unless there are extenuating circumstances affecting one parent’s ability to properly care for the children, the children are likely to primarily reside in the marital home until a temporary parenting plan is created. 

Parents are encouraged to work together as quickly as possible to create a shared parenting plan that will grant the children stability and predictability. If parents cannot reach an agreement, the court can require mediation to help parents create a shared parenting schedule. 

If I Move Out, Will I Get Less of the Share of the House’s Value? 

The marital home is subject to property division regardless of who lives in it. Whether one spouse moved out before the divorce was finalized will not affect how the value of the home is divided. However, if one spouse wants to keep the marital home, he or she will generally need to “buy out” the other spouse’s share of the home. This can be done with retirement assets, savings accounts, cash, vehicles, or other assets. 

A spouse who wishes to keep the marital home should keep in mind that a home can be an overwhelming financial obligation for only one spouse to handle. In addition to completely taking over the mortgage, repairs, and other expenses, a spouse may have given up liquid assets in order to buy out the other spouse and could find themselves in a difficult financial situation with little in the way of cash reserves. It may be difficult to give up the marital home entirely, but individuals must keep their long-term financial health in mind. 

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

If you are going through a divorce or considering divorce, contact an experienced Aurora divorce attorney. At the The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you understand whether keeping your marital home is an option that you want to pursue. We strive to make the divorce process streamlined and easy to understand so you can get through it and move on with your life. Call us to schedule your initial consultation at 630-409-8184 today. 



The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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