The family home is the place where pleasant memories are made. For this reason, sometimes when a couple in Florida divorces, both parties wish to be awarded the family home. They may see the family home as both financially and emotionally valuable, especially if they are awarded custody of their child and wish to disrupt their child’s life as little as possible. However, there are certain aspects of owning a home post-divorce that each party should consider before deciding whether or not to fight for it.
First, homeownership costs money. Repairs and upgrades will need to be made. The mortgage needs to be paid, as must insurance and taxes. Spouses should keep in mind that once the divorce is final, if they are awarded the family home, they will be responsible for paying these expenses on a single income. Moreover, the mortgage will need to be refinanced following the divorce, so it is solely in the name of the party keeping the home. This means that party must have the sufficient income and credit score for doing so. For all these reasons, each party should first determine whether he or she would be able to afford the family home once their divorce is finalized.
In addition, it is not always the case that keeping the home is a wiser investment than keeping a retirement account or other valuable asset. Homes can depreciate in value, so when the time to sell comes, the homeowner may not see the return they expected. In addition, there are tax consequences that come with selling a home after a divorce. These are also considerations parties should keep in mind when deciding whether or not they want to be awarded the family home in the divorce.
Some people will take all these points in mind and will decide that retaining the family home is right for them. Other times, neither party in a divorce wants to keep the family home. Therefore, they may choose to sell it and divide the proceeds. These are very personal decisions that will depend on the facts of a person’s case. However, by understanding the impact of homeownership post-divorce, each party can make a decision that is in their best interests.