If you and your wife share your family home, you’ll probably want to know what’s going to happen to it in your upcoming divorce proceedings. There are several ways to handle the division of a family home — and depending on your family’s circumstances — your divorce attorney can recommend the most suitable strategy to fit your needs.
One option is to pay off the mortgage by selling the home, and splitting whatever cash proceeds remain. This is one of the easiest ways to deal with a home, because you can utilize the profits from the sale to pay off any outstanding shared marital debts. That said, if the home has increased in value, this strategy could also trigger tax liabilities.
You also might not have the option to sell your home at a profit in some cases, if it’s declined in value. If the mortgage still needs to be paid off after liquidating the property, you and your soon-to-be ex will need to figure out how you’re going to share the remaining debt owed.
The second option is to allow one spouse to keep the property. This could be a great strategy to help your kids feel stable following your breakup, and it could also be a good strategy if your mortgage is underwater and you don’t want to liquidate the property. If one spouse takes over the property, the other spouse might be able to keep other shared marital assets to balance out the value of the home. It’s important to factor in capital gains taxes that would apply to the property when finding a balance in this regard.
If one spouse keeps the home, any existing mortgage may need to be refinanced to be in the name of the spouse holding the property. Alternatively, you might keep the current mortgage and the spouse who gets the property will assume it in his or her name only. Both these options would require a quitclaim deed where the other spouse gives up ownership.
If you and your ex-spouse are trying to decide how to divide your family home in a divorce, consider speaking with a divorce lawyer about your option. Different challenges can arise during asset division, which an experienced Florida divorce lawyer can help you navigate with ease.
Source: MarketWatch, “What to do about your home in a divorce,” Shawn Leamon, March 16, 2017