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Posted on in Real Estate

Lake County real estate attorneysThere are countless reasons that you might wish to sell your home. Maybe you are moving to a new city, or maybe you have just had your offer accepted on a new home in a different part of Northern Illinois. You might also need to sell your house due to the circumstances surrounding your divorce. In many divorce cases, selling the marital home is part of the equitable division of marital property that is required under Illinois law. If you are selling your home due to a divorce, a qualified real estate attorney can help you do so while avoiding potentially costly mistakes.

Take Your Time

If you are like most people, you want the divorce process to be completed as quickly as possible while protecting your rights and best interests. Rushing the sale of your home, however, could cause problems. Selling a home involves many steps, and you will have a number of responsibilities before and during the transaction, and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will probably need to be involved as well. With the help of your attorney and your real estate broker, you should compile a checklist that includes everything that needs to be done, including but not limited to:

  • Arranging an appraisal
  • Inspection considerations
  • Necessary repairs
  • Listing the property
  • Scheduling open houses and other viewing appointments
  • Vetting offers from prospective buyers
  • Preparing and reviewing the transaction documents

Be patient, and only check things off once they completed to the satisfaction of everyone involved—especially your attorney.

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Can I Cut Down on My Divorce Obligations Through Bankruptcy?

You may be able to cut down your divorce obligations through bankruptcy, depending on the type of obligation you are looking to discharge. In some cases, you can use bankruptcy to cut down on the debts you find yourself facing after your divorce is finalized. In other cases, you cannot legally discharge the debt you are facing. Speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to determine your options for reducing your financial burden. No matter what, do not simply stop making your payments, especially if they are child support or spousal maintenance payments. Becoming delinquent on either of these payments can not only add to your debt load, but it is an act of contempt of court that can have criminal penalties. If you cannot afford to make these payments, work with your lawyer to have them reduced by the court.

You and Your Spouse are Liable for Joint Debts, Even After Divorce

Your divorce settlement might assign part of your marital debt to you and part to your former spouse. The settlement is a legal obligation for you to comply with its terms. Failing to repay your portion of your debt is a violation of these terms that could have consequences for your former spouse, such as creditors seeking your portion of the repayment from him or her. Talk to your lawyer about your obligation to your former spouse. Even if you can discharge your debt through bankruptcy, you might still have to fulfill financial obligations to him or her.

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Should I Wait Until My Divorce is Final to File for Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a complicated process. As with many other things in life, like parenting your children and putting money away for your retirement, getting divorced complicates the bankruptcy process. If you are not sure about the future of your marriage or if you know that you will file for divorce in the near future, you might opt to put your bankruptcy plan on hold until the divorce is finalized. But sometimes, this is not feasible. In other cases, it actually makes more sense for a couple to file for bankruptcy together before they begin the divorce process. Whether you should wait until your divorce is finalized or not to file for bankruptcy depends entirely on your individual circumstances.

Is Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy a Goal?

If so, you might want to wait until after your divorce is finalized because after the divorce, your household income will likely be lower. If you earn less each month than the median monthly income for other Illinois households your size, you automatically qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Considering Bankruptcy? Know How it Can Affect Your Divorce Settlement

Bankruptcy and divorce can easily become intertwined. For some individuals, going through the divorce process is so costly that they need to file for bankruptcy afterward to get a handle on their debt. For others, debt and money problems during a marriage are what drives their spouses away, causing them to seek divorces. If you are currently going through a divorce and considering filing for bankruptcy, or you have previously been divorced and are unable to meet your debts, know how one of these issues can affect the other. Speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before making your decision.

Bankruptcy Does Not Eliminate Spousal Maintenance and Child Support Debts

This is perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when simultaneously facing divorce and bankruptcy. Bankruptcy exists to make your debts more manageable, either through the liquidation and sale of your nonexempt assets or through a structured repayment plan. But because your former spouse and child rely on you for these support payments, spousal support and child support debts cannot be eliminated with bankruptcy.

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