Finding ways to split your property with your spouse can be one of the biggest challenges in your divorce. Some assets are easy to share. A bank account can be split into two even amounts or divided based on what each spouse deposited. A collection can be divided.
A house, on the other hand, is sort of a winner-take-all asset. Barring unique arrangements, like bird-nesting for shared custody reasons, spouses typically don’t continue to share ownership of their homes or cohabitate in the marital home after divorce.
Only one person can potentially live at the house, but both of you have a vested interest in the property. How do you split a home during a Florida divorce?
The focus should be on fairness
According to Florida state laws, the goal of property division is a fair or equitable outcome. There are numerous ways to handle your home that can be fair both to you and your ex. You can either reach these solutions on your own or rely on a judge to make the final decision.
For example, you might agree to allow one spouse to stay in the home, provided that they refinance the property and share equity with their ex. On the other hand, you might use other assets, like a small business or your retirement accounts, to reimburse the spouse not retaining the marital home.
Couples could also agree to sell the home and split the proceeds. Regardless of what approach a couple takes, proper valuation of the property is crucial to a fair outcome.
You may need two appraisals
The amount you originally financed or the balance owed on your mortgage won’t accurately reflect your home’s current fair market value. Spouses who share a home will usually need to bring in a professional to appraise the property.
The possibility of bias influencing an appraisal, which is a largely subjective process, often means that each spouse will want to bring in their own appraiser. Otherwise, one spouse might hire a professional and push them to keep the price as low as would be reasonable or as high as might be possible.
Thinking about your long-term plans and financial circumstances can help you set appropriate and achievable goals for the property division process in your divorce.