For many Florida couples going through a divorce, the marital home can be at the center of a battle with emotional and financial implications. A home may represent the largest financial investment a couple might make during their marriage, but it would be wrong to look upon it as nothing more than an asset. It is often the place where a family started and children were raised, so deciding what should be done with the house can be a contentious divorce issue.
Since Florida is an equitable distribution state, local courts have broad discretion when awarding ownership of real property during a divorce. Judges also are not required to equally divide the proceeds of a sale of a home between the parties.
Equitable distribution means that property should be divided in a manner that is fair. However, a fair property division does not have to be an equal division. It is for this reason that couples engaged in a dispute about their marital home might consider reaching a mutually acceptable agreement rather than submitting the issue to the courts for a judge to decide.
Negotiating an agreement to settle divorce legal issues involving a home can be complicated by emotions and financial realities. One spouse might be driven by an emotional attachment to a house and fight to retain ownership without taking into consideration the financial burden of owning a home. A better option might be to allow the home to be sold or to seek ownership of assets that would not pose a financial burden.
When a property division dispute over a home owned by a couple arises during a divorce, a party might benefit from the legal advice and guidance of an attorney. The lawyer might suggest property division options that could facilitate an agreement.