The disposition of the marital home often becomes a heavy point of contention in Florida divorces. However, with the help of Bergman Family Law, it’s sometimes possible to navigate the complicated laws and variances of family law to help you retain ownership of your house after a divorce.
Do You Want to Keep the Marital Home After a Divorce?
Before anything else, you should ascertain if you want to keep a house after a divorce. The house that once contained more people and possibly more streams of income will now contain fewer people and less income.
Costs of maintaining the home will fall onto one person instead of multiple people. You may want to discuss what it can all entail with me and my firm before deciding definitively if you want to pursue keeping the marital home or not. Often, this can become a real estate issue, rather than a family law issue. So, it’s wise to truly consider all the details.
Is The House Actually Marital Property or Not?
Who purchased the home? Was the house jointly purchased between you and your spouse? Did you purchase the home prior to your marriage? These things can all play a role in whether you keep your house after a divorce. There’s a difference between marital property and separate property.
It’s possible to have sole ownership of a home, even in a marriage. This doesn’t mean you retain sole ownership when it’s time to split assets, but it does strengthen the argument for you retaining that ownership.
Are There Children Who Live in the House?
Florida law will often grant ownership of the home to the parent who will become the main custodian of the children. That’s because this falls in line with the best interests of the children. If you also intend to keep your children with you, then you have a stronger argument for keeping the house as well.
Do You Have Prenup or Postnup Agreements?
Nuptial agreements can help a great deal when it comes to asset distribution during a divorce. Not all couples enter into these agreements, but if you have one that involves your house, then you can use it to make a better claim on the property.
Are You Prepared to Negotiate?
If you and the other person can come to an agreement on what your sole ownership of the home will entail, then the agreement can become binding. Negotiation requires give and take, which is why speaking to a legal professional first and during these conversations should have a high priority if you want to maintain homeownership.
Can You Trade Value for Value?
In many cases, it’s possible to keep a home if you’re willing to give up assets equal to or greater than the other party’s share of the home’s total value.
For example, if the valuation of the house, with no outstanding mortgage, comes to $400k, then you can offer something like an investment account of equal value to the other party’s share of the home’s value. You lose something, but you gain something in return.
There are other ways to negotiate and various methods of considering the value of a home. So, you don’t have to assume there’s only one way to go about the process. At Bergman Family Law, I can help guide you through the process. Contact my law firm today to find out more.