May 4, 2015

Keeping a Vacation Home during Divorce

Division of Property, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorney

Dividing assets during a divorce can be one of the most complicated, and certainly most contentious, procedures of the entire process. One frequently asked questions that divorce attorneys face is how a client may be able to keep a house. While couples may decide that selling the marital home is best—for emotional reasons as well as financial—if a divorcing couple has a second home, such as a vacation house, it may be a hotly contested asset during divorce proceedings.

An important factor to consider, as noted by The Huffington Post, is whether or not you can afford a vacation home after divorce. Even in a rocky climate, vacation homeownership has continued to steadily rise. In fact, buyers purchased more than 500,000 vacation homes in 2011—a 7 percent increase from the previous year.

If there is still a mortgage on a vacation home, can payments be made on a single household income?

According to The Huffington Post, refinancing such mortgages is not as easy as it used to be, and whichever partner decides to keep a vacation home needs to make sure that it will not become a burden when considering other post-split obligations.

Moreover, how a vacation home was purchased will determine whether or not it can be considered marital property that is subject to distribution. If a home was inherited while the recipient was married, the value of the home could be considered for equal distribution, even if it firmly belongs to one family. On the other hand, if a vacation home was inherited, gifted, or bought by one partner before a marriage, it may not be considered as marital property, even though it was shared for the duration of the union.

If your vacation home has lost considerable value since you purchased it, you may not want to fight for it in court. Understanding your options by speaking with a qualified legal professional is the most important step. Do not go through it alone. Contact a DuPage County family law attorney today.