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To keep or sell? What to do with the Family home in a Divorce

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Divorce on Friday, March 10, 2017.

Home may be where the heart is, but when it comes to divorce it is often a very sought after -- and fought over -- piece of property. It can be very stressful when a divorcing couple in Florida cannot agree on who should be awarded the home or whether they should sell it instead. Divorce is already an emotionally tough ordeal, no matter how much it is in a person's best interests, and fights over property division only add to the stress. Nevertheless, in the end decisions about what to do with a couple's real estate in a divorce must be made.

First of all, it needs to be decided whether or not one party will keep the home. For example, the spouse keeping the house might buy out the share of the spouse not keeping the house. Other times a couple may decide to sell the family home and divide the proceeds equally. Sometimes spouses may even agree to hold off on selling the house for a while. For example, one spouse may live in the home with the couple's children until the children are grown, and then they will sell the house and divide up the proceeds.

If a couple cannot agree on what to do with the family home, the matter will go before a judge. The judge may consider who owns the home, whether or not the value of the home appreciated during the course of marriage and who paid for the home. Keep in mind that if the home was purchased while the couple was married, it may be considered marital property even if the mortgage is only in one spouse's name.

In the end, deciding what to do with the family home in a divorce should be done rationally. No matter how many memories are wrapped up in the abode, one must be practical and determine the pros and cons of keeping the home versus selling the home. A family law attorney can be a good resource at times like these.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Handling real estate during a divorce," Alison Bowen, March 1, 2017

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