Deciding Whether to Keep the Family Home During Divorce
During your marriage, you and your spouse may have scrimped and saved in an effort to provide a ‘dream home’ for your family, with the idea that it would be the ideal place for your children to grow up and for you to grow old in. When the prospect of filing for divorce changes these plans, figuring out what to do with the family home is a major decision. The following outlines some of the legal considerations involved, along with other factors that could be an issue in your particular case.
The Family Home in Marital Property Division
Just as with other types of property and assets, deciding ownership of the family home is one of the issues you will need to deal with in your divorce. Under the Florida Statutes, the court aims for an equitable, though not necessarily even, division of marital property and assets.
In order to reach an agreement that is fair to both parties, factors such as each person’s income and earning potential will be considered, along with any sacrifices or contributions each spouse made over the course of the marriage. In choosing what to do with your family home, there are basically four options:
- Sell the home and split the profits between the spouses;
- Get a valuation and then trade other property or assets for it as part of your marital property agreement;
- Agree to buy out your spouse’s share, which will require refinancing the home;
- Have the home continue to be in both names, with your spouse making mortgage payments as part of your spousal or child support.
Factors to Consider in Keeping the Family Home
While the thought of selling your family home may fill you with sadness or concern about the future, it is important to take a practical look at the situation. NerdWallet advises going through and figuring out a housing budget, both if you remain in the home or if you move to another location.
You may find that the home is beyond what you can reasonably afford or maintain on your post-divorce income, or you may discover that you could easily spend just as much or more moving somewhere else. In addition to practical matters, there are emotional considerations to factor in as well:
- Does the home contain painful memories and remind you of things you would rather forget?
- Will staying in the home tie you to the past and keep you from moving forward in your new life?
- Do you have children which could be impacted by either staying or moving out of the home?
- Is your old neighborhood conducive to your new life and one you want to remain in?
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
At the law firm of attorney Vanessa L. Prieto, we know the impact divorce can have on every area of your life. We provide trusted legal guidance to help you make the right choices throughout the process. To request a consultation to discuss your options, contact our Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney today.