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Dividing the family home in the equitable distribution process

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2019 | Equitable Distribution |

The family home is often one of the most valuable assets a couple in Fort Myers has. In addition, it can also have a lot of sentimental value. Therefore, if a couple decide to divorce, what to do with the family home is a major part of the equitable distribution process. Couples have several options when it comes to the family home and divorce.

Sometimes one spouse wants to keep the family home, especially if they have children. If so, they will have to refinance the home in their name only as well as buy out their ex’s equity in the property, although buyouts can be negotiated. It is important to keep in mind, however, that there may be tax consequences if the house has appreciated when a spouse finally decides to sell it. The spouse keeping the home will also want to ensure they are able to meet the financial demands of homeownership on a single income, such as a mortgage, upkeep, taxes and insurance.

An option that may be considered, although it may not be very common, is for both spouses to continue to own the house together post-divorce. However, this means the spouses will have a financial tie to one another, even after their marriage has ended.

Finally, some couples will choose to sell the home and split the proceeds. It is important to consider any capital gains taxes that will be owed when the home sells. In addition, each party may be obligated to pay brokers’ commissions.

Deciding what to do with the family home can be contentious. Some couples can make this important decision through out-of-court negotiations. Other couples may need to turn to the court for a decision. If this is the case, the court will base its decision on equitable distribution. This means that the result of the division of assets may not be an exact 50/50 split; it will be decided based on fairness.

Those who have questions about the equitable distribution process will want to make sure they seek the guidance they need to ensure that their divorce decree, including decisions regarding the family home, meets their needs.

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