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Your marital home, your beach rental and property division

If you and your spouse are facing divorce, the matter of real property will be a focal point in the property division phase of the process.

You have decisions to make regarding the disposition of not only your marital home but also other pieces of real estate, especially those that generate income, such as your beach rental.

Income property

In an Illinois divorce, the court must divide a couple’s income and assets equitably and the more assets you have, the more complex this process becomes. Many high-asset couples own real estate from which they derive income; for example, an office building, a condo or the Outer Banks beach house you have owned and rented to vacationers for several years. Since you want to ensure a proper value for this property, you may want to engage the services of a professional real estate appraiser. The court will also want to know whether you inherited the beach house or purchased it either before or after you married.

Marital home

The disposition of the marital home is probably uppermost in your mind. When one spouse gets the home in a divorce, the other spouse should come away with an asset of comparable value, such as the beach house, for example. This is not always a case of apples to apples; the asset of like value could be a boat, an expensive vehicle or a collection of fine art. The value of the marital home depends on several factors, such as the sales price of comparable properties in a similar neighborhood and features such as the addition of a deck or wheelchair ramp that sets your property apart from others.

Additional considerations

While determining the value of your real property is important, there are also other issues to think about. If you decide to sell either the beach house or your marital home, who will pay the property taxes, any repairs needed and the monthly mortgage until you find a new owner? What will you consider an acceptable offer, and what costs will you deduct from the final sale before you and your spouse split the proceeds?

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