Should You Sell Your House During a Florida Divorce?
If you have a marital home that needs to be split during a divorce, you may be wondering whether you should sell your house during or after the divorce. After all, unlike bank accounts or other assets, houses cannot be divided in half.
This begs the question, “What should you do with your house during a divorce in Florida?” Is selling your house during or after divorce always the best option?
4 Options When Selling a House During a Divorce
Typically, married couples decide to sell their house if it is deemed marital property during their divorce. However, what many do not realize is that there are four options when it comes to selling a house during a divorce in Florida.
- Buy Out Your Spouse’s Half
One spouse may buy out the other spouse’s half of the house’s market value in order to become the sole owner of the home. This option would be reasonable when staying in the house in this location is important to either spouse. For example:
- one spouse has sole physical custody of their child who goes to school near the house; or
- one spouse has a job in this location.
However, buying out the other spouse’s half may not be for everyone, especially if you cannot afford to pay half of the home’s market value.
- Co-Own the House After the Divorce
A more common – yet a less favorable – option would be to continue co-owning a house even after your divorce is finalized. However, this option would not be reasonable for former spouses who do not get along.
When co-owning the house after the divorce, former spouses will have to reach consensus on:
- Splitting bills for mortgage, taxes, utilities, and others;
- Maintaining the property;
- How the house will be used; and
- Whether the former spouses want to lease the house to other individuals.
- Sell the House
Selling the house is usually the most reasonable option, though selling may not always be possible if no one wants to buy it. If the house is finally sold, former spouses can divide the sale proceeds equally or in any other manner.
The proceeds can be used to pay for divorce costs, debts, or to buy a new apartment or house. If spouses cannot agree on how to divide the sale proceeds or cannot agree on other aspects of selling the house, they should consult with a property division attorney.
- Divide the Assets
Another common way to split marital assets without selling the house during or after a divorce in Florida is through a fair division of assets. What that means is that one spouse would keep the house, while the other spouse would take other marital assets of the same value to make it worth their while.
For instance, one spouse can keep the marital home, while the other spouse will take the motor vehicle, bank accounts, savings, and other valuable assets. However, this may not be a viable option if the couple does not have many marital assets.