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Who Gets to Keep the Vacation Home After the Divorce is Finalized?
16 Jul, 2024

Who Gets to Keep the Vacation Home After the Divorce is Finalized?

Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process that involves untangling shared lives, assets, and memories built together. One difficult question that often arises during this challenging time is: “Who gets to keep the vacation home after the divorce is finalized?” This question can be a source of added stress and contention, as both parties may have a strong emotional attachment to the property and a desire to preserve the associated memories. In addition, the vacation home is often a valuable asset that holds financial significance for both parties.¬†

Understanding the legal aspects surrounding property division during a divorce is important to avoid conflict, particularly regarding vacation homes.

Understanding Divorce Law in Illinois

In Illinois, divorce law operates under the principle of “equitable distribution.” This means that marital property is divided in a manner deemed fair by the court, which doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split.

Marital Property vs. Non-Marital Property

Illinois law makes a distinction between marital and non-marital property. Marital property assets are acquired during the marriage, while non-marital property refers to assets owned before the marriage or obtained through inheritance or gift. It could be classified as either, depending on when and how the vacation home was acquired.

How Illinois Law Decides Who Keeps the Vacation Home

When dividing property during a divorce, the court considers various factors to determine who will own the vacation home. These factors may include:

  • Who purchased the property: If one spouse owned and bought the vacation home before marriage, there may be a stronger argument for that spouse to retain ownership.
  • Contribution towards the property: If both spouses contributed financially towards the purchase or upkeep of the vacation home, this may be considered when determining ownership.
  • Custody arrangements: If children are involved, custody arrangements and how often each parent will have time with the children at the vacation home may play a role in who gets to keep it.
  • Financial stability and need: If one spouse has a greater financial need or is more stable, this may be considered when determining ownership of the vacation home.

Other Possible Outcomes

There are other possible outcomes besides one party keeping the vacation home. The court may order the house to be sold and the proceeds divided. Alternatively, one party may “buy out” the other’s interest in the property. This could involve one party paying the other an agreed-upon amount for full ownership of the vacation home.

Role of a Divorce Attorney

Having a divorce attorney on your side can make an invaluable difference in navigating the complexities of divorce proceedings. At SLG Family Law, our team of highly skilled attorneys is well-versed in Illinois divorce law and deeply understands the intricacies involved in such cases. With our knowledge and guidance, you can rest knowing that your legal matters are in capable hands. We are dedicated to providing the personalized attention and support you need during this challenging time.


Ultimately, who gets to keep the vacation home after a divorce is finalized will depend on several factors and how Illinois law applies to the specific circumstances of each case. Both parties should seek legal representation and work towards a fair resolution during this difficult and emotional time. 

An experienced attorney from SLG Family Law can significantly protect your interests. Our dedicated professionals are ready to provide you with the best possible legal representation. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us guide you through the legal process with confidence.



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