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How to handle the family home during a divorce

For many Florida residents, one of the primary concerns during the course of ending marriages involves how to handle the family homes. Many people grow very attached to their houses, especially if they have raised their families there or done significant work on the houses to make them feel like homes. When the time comes to address the disposition of the family homes during divorce, tensions often rise. Fortunately, spouses have multiple options in how to divide these important assets.

One of the most common choices, as well as the one that provides the most simple solution, is to sell the property and divide the share of equity. Of course, doing so requires agreement on the part of both spouses, something that is often in short supply during the course of a divorce. In some cases, one spouse wishes to remain living in the home, while the other seeks alternative housing. This can get tricky if the sale stretches out over a considerable period of time.

Another option is for one spouse to buy the other out, paying for the departing spouse's share of equity in the property. In order to do so, the remaining spouse usually must obtain a new mortgage or refinance the existing mortgage to remove the other party's name. If that is not possible, the departing spouse will have his or her name on the mortgage, even after he or she has no legal claim on the home. That can make it difficult for the departing spouse to finance the purchase of a new house in the years to follow.

Deciding how to handle the family home during a divorce can be a challenge. Many Florida spouses turn to qualified divorce attorneys to help navigate the pros and cons of various options. This is a decision that will have long-term financial ramifications, and one that should only be made after all parties are fully informed.

Source: dailyrepublic.com, "Divorce and the family home", Nicole Solari, Oct. 15, 2016

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