The end of a marriage is filled with many conflicting emotions and important decisions. While child custody is often the most important matter for parents, property division is a topic that can lead to considerable conflict. Florida residents who are divorcing likely have a number of questions regarding this important issue.
The family home where children were raised is often a central focus of divorce proceedings. Does it matter if a home is titled in only one spouse’s name? If the home is a marital asset, as opposed to the separate property of one party, the name on the title usually does not matter. If one spouse is insisting a home be sold, negotiations can center on whether one spouse can buy out the other spouse’s interest in the equity.
The parties can either agree upon the value of the home or get a formal appraisal. The home can be sold and net proceeds divided or one spouse can retain the home and refinance any remaining debt in that individual’s name. If the spouse keeping the home does not have the separate funds to buy out the other spouse’s share, his or her interest in another marital asset might be an acceptable substitute. If a spouse invested money into a home before the marriage or inherited the property, it is usually possible to recoup those separate funds, though it is sometimes challenging to determine which portion of a property’s equity is to be considered separate, especially if marital assets were used for upkeep and/or mortgage payments.
If the real property is not the residential home, similar solutions may still apply. Rental income may contribute significantly to the value of the property and may also be taken into consideration when deciding matters relating to support. Florida residents who are preparing for divorce proceedings may benefit from the advice of an experienced attorney who can work to ensure that the property division settlement will best meet the needs of the client.