During a divorce, you will go through a lot of processes. One of the most important is that of the division of assets. For most couples, the division of assets is stressful and often couples wonder who will get what. While you may have numerous assets, the house is sometimes the biggest asset a couple has to divide – and it is one asset that causes a range of issues during the divorce process.
The General Property Rule
In Florida, property is divided 50-50 if it is considered “marital property” – or property that was acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Non-marital property, which is property either spouse acquired before the marriage, is not divided equally. So, if you and your spouse purchased the house together during the marriage, then it is treated like any other asset and is divided equally. But, how do you split a house?
Options for Splitting a Home in a Florida Divorce
There are a variety of options for fairly splitting up a house. As an equitable distribution state, Florida splits up assets based on their value. Therefore, before you decide how you will split up your home, you must first have the value assessed. After the value has been assessed, you have a few options:
Giving the Property to the Primary Caregiver – If you have children, the parent with the children a majority of the time should get the house – if it is financially feasible. This is in the best interest of the children (because they will not have to move or change schools).
Buy Outs – Spouses can agree to buy one another out. For example, if one spouse decides to keep the house, they can buy out the other spouse’s equitable share (which is 50 percent of the assessed value) to keep the house.
Sell the Home – If the couple cannot agree, sometimes selling the home and splitting the profits of that sale is the only way to fairly split the house.
If one spouse keeps the house, the other spouse’s name could still be on the mortgage. To prevent this, the spouse who keeps the home needs to refinance the mortgage into their sole name. In today’s financial climate, refinance is not always possible.
In these situations, it is best to have a lawyer to handle the division of your family home. An attorney can help carry out the division and depending on the option you and your spouse choose, your attorney can help you remove responsibility from one spouse, perform a buyout, or simply sell and split the profits.
Worried About Dividing Assets? Contact an FL Divorce Attorney Today
If you are thinking about divorce, you need a skilled Orlando divorce lawyer to help you with the division of assets. Contact the lawyers at McMichen, Cinami & Demps today. We offer free consultations and can discuss your pending divorce case as well as go over the division of assets process with you.