In an equitable distribution state such as Florida, the way assets are divided in a divorce can depend on income levels of each spouse and who brought what assets into the marriage. While assets are typically divided fairly, they might not necessarily be divided equally.
For divorce cases where there are substantial assets, property division can be one of the greatest considerations. This is especially true of the family home. The best way to fairly dispose of the asset can differ for each couple. For most divorcing spouses, the options that make the most sense are to sell the home, buy out the other spouse or find a way to co-own the home.
Selling the home
This can be the cleanest option for many couples because selling the home ends any future entanglements with the property. To prevent disagreements about an acceptable sales price of the home or what might need to be done to prepare the home for sale, consider having the property appraised to establish value. Consulting a real estate agent might also help determine if the property requires any substantial work to garner the best price.
If the home has not been your primary residence for two out of five years, you could have to pay capital gains on the sale if there is a profit. If the home was your primary residence for this amount of time, you should not have to pay any taxes on the gain.
Buy out your spouse
If you just can’t part with your family home, then buying out your spouse’s interest in the house could be a good solution for property division. However, because Florida is an equitable distribution state, the cost of buying out the other spouse would depend on factors such as income and earning potential.
If you and your ex are able to manage business affairs together following the divorce, then co-owning the home might be an option. You could consider keeping the home as a rental property and dividing income and expenses.
However, before committing to this or any other co-owning plan, it could be a good idea to consult an experienced divorce attorney for guidance. Since this property could require the attention of both spouses for years to come, it might be a good idea to explore any potential legal issues now instead of dealing with a problem in the future.