Many times during divorce proceedings people don’t stop to think, “What happens to my house during and after divorce?” There are several options available during and after the divorce. To understand what happens to the home during and after the divorce, it is first important to have an understanding of how assets are classified in Florida. This article is written by Gainesville, Florida divorce attorney Nick Hamm, who has experienced, first hand, the process of asset division during divorce.
How to Categorize Martial vs. Non-Marital Assets During Divorce
In Florida, a marital asset is an asset that was obtained by either of the parties during the marriage, regardless of how the property is titled. There are exceptions to this rule. Generally, a house purchased by the parties during the marriage is considered a marital asset.
This is important because a marital asset is subject to “equitable distribution.” Equitable distribution is the process by which marital assets are divided. Typically, marital assets are divided equally, or 50/50, unless certain circumstances exist.
Divorce Proceedings and Exclusive Use and Possession of the Marital Home
With this understanding of how marital assets are divided in divorce proceedings, several other questions will need to be answered regarding the nature of the marital home. First, there is a question of whether one party would prefer to stay in the marital home after the divorce is final. If so, that party is responsible for refinancing the property and “buying out” the other party. It is advisable to have an appraisal done to determine the fair market value of the home so neither person gets the short end of the stick.
Oftentimes, neither party wants to remain in the home. There are often memories associated with the home that the parties would rather forget. Or, it may be the case that neither party needs as much space. At that point, the best option is to sell the property. The parties would work together (or through their attorneys) to list the property and sell it for the highest price possible, splitting the equity equally.
As you can see, there are several things that can happen to the marital home during and after the divorce, including a sale or refinancing. However, every situation is unique and you should discuss your issues with a Gainesville, Florida divorce attorney you trust.