How to Divide the Marital Home in Divorce
Divorce is an emotional process and it is sometimes overwhelming to think about all the terms that are most important to you. Property division is typically one of the most contentious aspects of any divorce and people often wonder if they will be able to keep the marital home.
The home the couple lived in during the marriage typically holds great sentimental value for each spouse, and whether or not you can keep yours will depend on several facts of the case. Generally speaking, however, there are three options you have for dividing the family home in divorce.
Sell the Home
The process of selling a home is never simple or straightforward. Still, it is often the cleanest way to divide a home during a divorce. When you and your spouse agree to sell the home, or a Judge orders it, you must first obtain a comparative market analysis or have the home appraised to determine what the homes fair market value is. Often a real estate agent can provide this analysis, or a lawyer may advise on how to accurately evaluate the home.
After you know how much the home is worth, you can then put it up for sale and sell it to the highest bidder. Once the home is sold, you will then simply divide the proceeds evenly between you and your spouse, or in the manner ordered by a Judge.
Buying Out Your Spouse
If it is your desire to retain the marital asset, another option is to buy out your spouse’s equity position in the home. You will still need to obtain an accurate valuation of the home so you know how much it will cost to buy your spouse out of their share and of course, determine if you can afford to do so.
Before doing this, you should also determine if you can afford the home on your own. Consider not only the amount you will have to pay your spouse, but also property taxes, insurance, and general upkeep. If you can afford the home on your own, you will also need to refinance the mortgage so the loan is in your name alone.
Own the Home Jointly with Your Spouse
If you decide to maintain joint ownership of the home with your spouse after your divorce, you will still have several options. One of you may continue to live in the home even though you both own it. In this case, you should draft a legal agreement that outlines which spouse is responsible for household-related expenses. Or, you can continue to own the home jointly with your spouse and rent out the space. In this case, you would divide the rental proceeds with your spouse, just as you would if you sold the home.
Our Florida Family Lawyers Can Advise on Your Case
The marital home is just one of the emotional and contentious issues that can arise during a divorce, but you do not have to face it alone. At O’Mara Law Group, our knowledgeable Orlando family lawyers can advise on all facts of your case, outline your legal options, and help you secure the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or fill out our online form so we can discuss your case.