The family home can be one of the more challenging items to handle as part of a divorce settlement in Florida. Unlike traditional financial assets like a retirement fund or bank account, it cannot be easily divided into two parts. Furthermore, people may have strong sentimental ties to the home even as it represents one of the largest single assets belonging to the divorcing couple.
Despite the difficulties involved, many people handle this matter by selling the family home. The proceeds can be used to pay off any remaining mortgage while the rest of the funds can be divided in the divorce settlement. When one spouse intends to keep the home, however, there are a few key decisions that both parties should consider as part of the process. In most cases, the remaining spouse will need to buy out the equity share of the other spouse in the property. This requires a significant amount of funds that may exceed the other assets involved in the divorce.
It is important to refinance the mortgage into the sole owner's name. If there is equity, it may assist in the ability to buy out the other owner. At the same time the mortgage is refinanced, the deed should be transferred into the name of the sole owner. Otherwise, the other spouse would retain an interest in the property and any future sale. The refinancing also eliminates the debt of the non-owner for the property. Understand that this does require the spouse keeping the home to show creditworthiness and an ability to handle payments on one salary, which can be a barrier in some cases.
People who decide to divorce have a number of significant issues to address, especially considering that financial decisions will have long-term effects. A family law attorney may work with a divorcing spouse to protect key interests and negotiate a suitable settlement on property division and other issues.