Keeping The Family Home After A Divorce
There are many changes that a couple and their children go through when the parents decide to divorce. The children need stability and constancy to help them with the major change they are going through. For this reason, one of both parents may want to hang on to the family home after the divorce.
It generally makes sense for the parent with primary custody, or primary parental responsibility as it is referred to in Florida, to keep the marital home after a divorce. This is because then the children do not have to move out and adjust to a new home, neighborhood, and school, while still trying to process the parents’ divorce.
However, this does not mean that the other parent just signs over the home. If the home is considered marital property, it has to be equitably divided between the spouses. However, the law does consider the need to keep the home for the children’s sake. If one spouse is granted the home in the divorce, the other spouse may be compensated by receiving other assets to make up for his or her share of the home’s value.
In cases where the mortgage on the home is not paid off at the time of the divorce, the court can order one parent to keep the home and make payments on it on his or her own. In other cases, the court can award the house to one spouse, but require the other to keep making payments, perhaps because that spouse is a higher earner and the mortgage payment is calculated into an alimony award.
Whatever the case, when dealing with a home that still has a mortgage on it, it is important to remember that the bank is not involved in the divorce. If the mortgage payments are missed, the bank can foreclose without looking at the mortgage decree to see who was supposed to be paying the mortgage. If all else fails, the couple may sell the house, and split any remaining funds after the mortgage is paid off.
If one spouse is no longer responsible for a mortgage after a divorce, he or she has to remember to refinance the mortgage and remove his or her name from the loan. If the spouse is still on the loan when the bank forecloses, then his or her credit could be damaged even if the court ordered the other spouse to make the payments. The spouse who is awarded the home and granted mortgage payments from the other spouse may go back to court to seek enforcement of the court order. However, if the other spouse does not want to lose the home before the court can force the other party to make payments, the spouse in possession of the home may need to keep making payments.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
How property is divided in Florida depends on various factors, and the court follows equitable distribution, which may not mean equal distribution in your case. There are many issues involved in property division, and therefore it is important to have an experienced attorney handle this aspect of your divorce. Contact an experienced Boca Raton, Florida divorce attorney at Law Offices of Schwartz White for a consultation.