Dealing with The Family Home During Divorce
Property division during divorce can be a difficult subject for a number of families, especially when it comes to what to do with the marital home. While, in some circumstances, divorcing spouses may agree that either person keeping the family home doesn’t make sense for financial reasons, in other cases, one or both individuals may want to stay in the home, one may wish to buy the other one out, etc. And when the divorce is filed, some spouses are still living together in the home, and ask us, as their divorce attorneys, what their living arrangements during the divorce should be as well, especially when children are involved.
Of course, like everything else in divorce, there are no black and white answers, and every case is different.
Couples choosing to address the marital home early on in the divorce process will sometimes benefit from quickly removing themselves from the situation and deciding to sell the home. Not only does the sale help them start anew, but it can provide both emotional and legal closure, and prevent them from having to deal with the costs of maintaining the home.
Complications Associated with Keeping the Home
Property division during divorce in Florida is based on equitable distribution, therefore, unless the marital home is and has been kept as separate property, it is either sold and the proceeds divided, or one party refinances the mortgage and purchases the other party’s interest. However, if both parties wish to keep the home, things can get more complicated by the following factors, for example:
- If the mortgage on the property is higher than the value, or in foreclosure, behind in payments, etc. and neither party can walk away with excess debt
- If there are children involved and reasons to keep them in the same house and/or school district
- If there are any impediments to refinancing
Is It Truly ‘Safe’ To Stay Together in The Family Home During the Divorce?
If there are viable reasons to live together in the same home during the divorce – such as for the sake of children – there are several factors that parties should consider, such as:
- Whether it is possible to live together peacefully in the home during the divorce. If there are children present and fighting is common, this can have an adverse impact on the children
- Whether the parties can afford multiple residents
- What impact, if any, living arrangements during the divorce might have on child custody and visitation arrangements: Some parents worry that if they move out and leave their children with the other parent, it can impact the time sharing arrangement
- Some judges find a couple living together during divorce to be questionable, therefore, living apart might be wiser for the sake of the divorce proceedings
Contact Our Florida Divorce Attorneys to Find Out More
What to do with the marital home, where you should live while you file for divorce, etc.—all of these are very important decisions that you do not want to make alone without consulting an experienced divorce attorney. Contact the compassionate and experienced Sarasota property division attorneys at HD Law Partners today to find out more about our services.