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Dealing with a marital home during property division

There are many legalities that must be addressed during the divorce process. Child custody, child support and alimony often take a lot of attention, but the outcome of property division can be crucial to one's financial position post-divorce. Although Florida recognizes equitable division of marital property, this does not mean that marital property has to be divided equally. This gives the parties to a divorce some flexibility to negotiate a settlement that fits their particular needs.

One of the biggest and most important assets that must be dealt with during the property division process is the marital home. While the marital home may hold a considerable amount of financial value, it can also possess a certain amount of sentimental value, too, which can make it hard for individuals to give up in a divorce.

There are generally four ways that a house can be handled during divorce. The first is to simply sell the property and fairly divide the proceeds of that sale. Although this may be the cleanest way to divide the asset, it may not be the best financial choice depending on how long the home has been owed and the current state of the housing market. The second option is for one party to buy the other out. This can be difficult, though, as many divorcing individuals simply don't have the cash on hand to buy out the other party.

This then may lead to the third option, which is where one party keeps the house and its debt in exchange for a larger portion of other marital assets. Of course, here the party seeking to keep the home needs to realize that there are often extensive costs associated with home ownership which may make its value seem inflated. So, those considering this option need to be real about whether home ownership on their own is worth it.

The last option is for the parties to the divorce to remain co-owners of the home. This can be a great option for those who want to ensure that their children can remain in the home they've grown accustomed to. Here, the parties can agree to split mortgage payments and how they will divide proceeds once the home is sold. Of course, each party will have to be wary of how missed payments will affect their credit scores.

Divorce and property division can be challenging. This is why it is often best to discuss options with a qualified family law professional.

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Ian F. Mann, P.A.
1424 Dean Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901

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