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Factors To Consider When Valuing Your Marital Home


The fate of the family home is one of the biggest concerns for couples who decide to divorce. There are, however, a number of variables that couples should consider before deciding who, if anyone, will retain the residence. To learn more about these factors, consult with your Fort Lauderdale property division lawyer today.

Financial Encumbrances

Many divorcing couples believe that there are only two options when deciding what will happen to the marital home upon the dissolution of their marriage: sell or allow one spouse to keep the residence. These are not, however, the only options that couples have, but deciding which is appropriate will depend on the assessment of a few different factors, including the types of financial encumbrances on a home. If, for instance, a house is owned outright, then the person who retains the property won’t have to pay outstanding mortgage payments, significantly decreasing his or her monthly expenses. Such an arrangement would also decrease other financial needs, such as alimony, while also increasing the value of the asset. Couples in this situation who expect to pay alimony may want to think about allowing the other party to remain in the home as a means of decreasing the expenses of that spouse and in turn, decreasing his or her need for financial support.

If, however, a home does have an outstanding mortgage, then a couple will need to consider the balance of that mortgage in comparison to the home’s value. If a couple owes more on a house than it is worth then selling the home may not cover that debt, meaning that no proceeds would be available to divide between the parties. Furthermore, both individuals would be left with debts that need to be repaid. In these cases, retaining the home may be the most fiscally responsible option for the time being, although the spouse who does keep the home may need to be awarded other assets to balance out the debt for which he or she will be responsible. Retaining a home may also be an option for someone who doesn’t have an income, but who wants to use the property as a rental.

Non-Economic Factors

Besides these financial factors, couples should also consider non-economic issues when determining division of a family home. If a couple has minor children, for instance, the value of providing a consistent living situation for those children may outweigh financial factors and largely dictate which individual retains the house. A home’s location in a certain school district or its proximity to family members who can help with childcare, could also affect the value of retaining that home in the eyes of at least one of the parents.

Do You Need Help with Your Divorce?

Speak with experienced Florida property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. to ensure that you understand the considerations that go into determining the fate of a family home during divorce. You can set up a free consultation by reaching out to a member of our legal team at 954-945-7591 today.


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