Once you’ve decided to divorce, new decisions need to be made: who is going to move out of the house, and are you going to sell the house – or not. Florida’s property division statute requires distributing the marital property, but is not exactly a how-to guide. This post looks at some options.
Deciding Whether to Sell
To make the decision more difficulty, there’s really no right or wrong answer to whether you should sell or keep a house. Your decision will depend on various factors.
Some of the factors influencing the decision to sell are things like your personality, is the house titled in both of your names, are there children, if so, where are the best schools, and how far away are the two parents’ homes.
I’ve written about houses and property divisions before. In Florida, every divorce proceeding the court has to set apart nonmarital property, and distribute the marital property.
Florida judges always begin with the premise that the property distribution should be equal, unless there is a reason for an unequal distribution based on several factors.
One of the factors the court has to consider is the desirability of keeping the home for the kids or a spouse, if it’s equitable to do so, if it’s in the best interest of the child, and financially feasible.
Delaying the Sale
Some spouses decide to sell, but schedule the sale months or years into the future. This happens when a couple has kids, and both parents agree that the house shouldn’t be sold to preserve the school district or allow for easier timesharing.
There are other problems in a keeping a house in which your name is still on title. In the even that your ex-spouse does not pay the mortgage timely, your own credit will suffer the late notices.
And, if someone invited to your old home is hurt, that person will sue the record title owners for their damages. If your name is on title as an owner, that’s you! Making sure you have decent insurance on the house may be in order.
If you can’t wait for years, and need to sell immediately, there’s a silver lining.
A fresh start and new beginning after a complete division of all of the assets tying you together with your Ex is the best way to go forward for some people.
However, there’s a cost of sale. When you sell your house, you pay a commission, and other expenses, like taxes, title expenses, repairs which can average about 10 percent of the sale price.
This is one of those modern ideas that sound so crazy, it just might work. With nesting, the kids live in the house, and the parents take turns living there. The parent not in the home often has an apartment that the divorced couple rent and share the cost of.
The U.S. News and World Report article is here.