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Home Equity in Divorce


Even divorcing couples who have a relatively amicable relationship will need to contend with certain issues before they can make a clean break and move on with their lives. One of these issues involves the dividing up of shared assets, including the family home, which requires the division of any equity in the residence. This process almost always requires an appraisal of the property, after which the parties will need to decide how to divide the asset. For help assessing the value of your own home and determining who will retain the asset after divorce, please contact our property division legal team today.

Obtaining an Appraisal

When deciding how to divide marital assets, couples must often obtain appraisals to ensure that any division of their property is fair to both parties. When it comes to the family home, it is not uncommon for both parties to obtain appraisals from differing sources, as this can provide a better sense of the true amount of equity in a shared home. In some cases, however, the parties may agree to retain the services of a single appraisal expert and then split the cost of the appraisal. In either case, a proper appraisal is critical to helping couples come up with a solution for the fate of the family home.

Dividing Home Equity

For many couples, equity in the family home is one of their most significant assets, making the splitting up of this type of asset particularly important during the property division process. Dividing this type of asset can take a number of different forms. For instance, many couples choose to place their home on the market, sell it, and then divide the profits in an equitable manner, after which, both parties can secure new residences.

Alternatively, the parties could come to an agreement in which one spouse (who wants to retain the home) refinances the mortgage and so eliminates the other party’s name from the mortgage agreement and then buys out the other spouse’s share of equity. By taking this step, the person who decides to remain in the home will have taken out a new loan in his or her own name to replace the original loan.

It is also possible for couples to instead choose to share their family home until a minor child turns 18 years old, or until the housing market improves enough for a favorable sale. Finally, couples can divide up their assets in such a way that one party keeps the house, while the other retains an asset that is of equal value to what that individual could have collected if the house had been sold. If, for example, a couple has both a family home and a vacation home, both of which  are roughly the same value, the spouses could each decide to keep one of their residences in their own name.

Schedule an Initial Case Review

The fate of the family home during divorce will depend on the specific circumstances of a case, so if you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, please contact experienced property Fort Lauderdale division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today to learn more about your legal options when it comes to ownership of your family’s home.


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