When a married couple buys a home, they may envision living together in it for years or decades to come. Unfortunately, not every marriage is meant to last meaning homeowners in the Pensacola area facing divorce will have to decide what to do with what may be one of their most significant assets. The following are some options for dividing the family home in a divorce.
Exchange the home for other assets
Florida is an equitable distribution state, meaning that in the property division process assets will be divided in a manner that is fair, which may or may not lead to an exact 50-50 split. With this in mind, sometimes one party will keep the family home and the other party will be awarded assets of an equivalent value. If you are fighting for the family home, it is important to first consider whether you can afford homeownership on a single income.
Buy out your spouse’s share in the home
Another option for those wishing to keep the family home is to pay your ex approximately half of the current market value of the home so that you are left as the home’s sole owner. In equitable distribution states like Florida, this may mean paying more or less than 50% of the market value, depending on the circumstances.
Both spouses keep the home
A more unusual option is for both spouses to keep owning the home together and agreeing to sell it at a later date. This may be an attractive option if a couple has children that they want to keep raising in the family home. However, this option is only viable if a couple can cooperate with one another post-divorce, as agreements will need to be made regarding who will pay the mortgage, utilities, upkeep and other costs associated with homeownership.
Neither spouse keeps the home
Sometimes spouses just want a clean break from each other and will decide to sell the family home and split the proceeds. Selling the family home can also be a good way for each spouse to obtain the finances needed to establish their new life post-divorce, assuming the home was sold for a profit. However, there could be tax consequences for selling the home that homeowners should be aware of.
Discuss your options with a professional
When you are going through a divorce, emotions oftentimes take over and it can be hard to think clearly. Family law attorneys in the Pensacola area may be a useful resource for those who need more information on property division and the family home.