What Happens to the Family Home in a Florida Divorce?
For many couples, the family home is the largest asset they own. It’s understandable that you may be extremely concerned about what happens to your home when you’re going through a divorce in Florida. Disputes over the family home can lead to a seriously contentious divorce. It’s helpful to understand how the Florida divorce process works in regard to dividing assets. It’s also highly recommended that you contact a Boca Raton divorce attorney who can help you through your divorce, so your rights are protected and you’re sure to get a fair and equitable settlement as the law allows.
Here’s what you need to know about how the distribution of your family home may be handled in a Florida divorce.
Florida Law Follows Equitable Distribution Principle
A few states are community property states, which means assets are typically divided 50/50. That means with a home, you would likely have to sell it and divide the proceeds unless you could buy the other spouse out. With an equitable distribution state, it means assets are divided in a fair and equitable manner. The house could be sold, or one party could receive the home while the other receives assets that are of similar value.
It’s important to note that equitable doesn’t equate to equal. Not everything will result in a perfectly even split. The courts will do their best to come up with an arrangement that is as close to equal as possible. However, there are situations where a judge may feel the dividing assets in an uneven manner is equitable. There are a number of reasons where you might find this to be the case, which your attorney can explain.
Is Your Home Marital or Nonmarital Property?
Did one spouse purchase the home prior to marriage? If the home is owned by only one spouse, it could change how the division of property is handled. Was there a prenuptial agreement that said the home belongs to only one spouse in the event of a divorce? In some cases, even if the house is owned by only one spouse, marital funds have been used for improvements, etc., which could end up making the house a marital asset.
Debts on the House Will Also Be Divided
Property division during a Florida divorce also includes incurred debts. If you still owe on the house, you will have to handle the mortgage and other charges / fees due. Any liabilities you and your ex have will be factored in, and that could change how the division of your family home is handled.
Judge Will Decide if You Can’t Agree
In the event you and your ex cannot agree on how to divide your family home and any other assets, the court will be required to do it for you. This means you’ll be forced to go through with a trial in order to have the judge render a decision.
Contact a Florida Property Division Attorney Today
It’s important to understand that every case is different. A million factors can change the outcome from one couple to the next on how the family home is divided. This is why it’s important to retain a knowledgeable Boca Raton divorce attorney who can sit and explain how the law will work in your particular case. Just because the court decided a certain way in your friend’s or cousin’s divorce, it doesn’t mean the same outcome will happen in yours. Contact the Law Offices of Schwartz | White today to schedule an initial consultation.