Consider Your Options When Dealing With the Family House in Divorce
In any marital separation or divorce, there are likely to be squabbles over material possessions which have both emotional value and financial worth. At the center is often the family home, which may have been where you spent your early days as a couple or raised children. Deciding what to do with this property is an important and personal decision for each couple. The following outlines several options and issues you need to be aware of.
Negotiating the Right to Remain in the Home
If you still have young children or strong attachments to the marital home, you may want to negotiate ownership as part of your divorce order. Under the Florida Statutes, all marital property is divided on an equitable basis. If your home was purchased during your marriage, the rights to it may be included in your property settlement. However, for any court order to be fair to both parties, you will likely need to consider surrendering the rights to other items in order to make up for the value. Issues to consider before taking this course of action include:
- Are you able to afford the mortgage payments and utilities, or will you be counting on any spousal or child support you may be entitled to receive to offset the costs?
- Will you be titling the home in your name alone? If so, you will likely need to refinance the mortgage.
- If the home remains in both you and your former spouse’s name, who will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep? This needs to be clearly outlined in any divorce agreement.
If you do choose to remain in the home, make sure to get a current value and an updated property inspection before taking any other actions.
Opting to Sell the Family Home
In light of the circumstances surrounding your divorce, the best option in your case may be to sell the family home and divide the profits. Again, getting a current valuation of the property is crucial to ensuring a fair settlement.
One of the main factors you will need to consider if pursuing this option is the potential tax ramifications. If you bought your home years ago and it has increased in value over the time you owned it, you could be facing capital gains on the following year’s tax return. Consult with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules and guidelines to ensure these taxes are included as part of any agreements.
In some cases, couples may have fallen behind on mortgage payments while going through a separation or during the process of filing for a divorce. If this is the case and you owe significant other outstanding debts, you may want to consider the option of filing for bankruptcy with your partner.
Contact Us Today for Help
While decisions regarding marital property are complex, you can trust the law firm of attorney Vanessa L. Prieto to provide the legal guidance you need. To discuss your situation with our Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney, reach out and contact our office to request a consultation today.