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Making The Decision To Keep (Or Sell) Your Marital Home


While there are many assets to assess when a couple moves forward with a divorce, sometimes decisions surrounding the marital home can be the most emotional. In some situations, both parties agree it is best to sell the house and distribute the assets. But it is common for one person to want to keep the home to provide consistency for the kids, or maintain the home because they have built up ties in the community or have spent a lot of time upgrading the property.

If you are disagreeing with your spouse about what to do with the marital home as the two of you move toward a Florida divorce, discuss your situation with a Tampa divorce attorney. Even if you are hoping to avoid the court process, having an attorney on your side to negotiate key details of your divorce settlement will help you pave a path to the future you want.

Mortgages, Marital Debt, and Negotiations

When it is difficult to agree on you keeping the marital home, an experienced attorney can open negotiations, structuring other assets and debts to make the retention of the home fair. For example, if there is a mortgage balance remaining on the home, it may be possible for you to keep the home and take over responsibility for the mortgage payments. And if there is a lot of value in the house, maybe your spouse could receive other investments from your marriage to balance out the loss of the real estate asset. Each situation is unique and needs to be assessed individually.

Similarly, if you want to sell the home but your spouse wants to keep it, do not automatically assume their choice is solely an asset grab. Have your attorney find out the detailed facts so a negotiation can take place.

A person may want to keep the home for any of the following reasons:

  • Family members assisted with a remodel or paid the down payment.
  • Unsure if they can afford another home so want to see all aspects of divorce settlement at once.
  • Wanting to stay connected to local schools for the kids.
  • Believe the home’s value is set to increase.

Naturally, emotional ties are part of a person’s response to keeping or selling a marital home as well. That said, if a person is being unreasonable there are legal steps that can be taken. It is not reasonable to reject an offer that is far above value or not allow showings of the home to occur when it was agreed a sale would be taking place.

Talk to a Skilled Family Lawyer Today

What are your divorce goals? Do they include keeping the marital home? The legal team at Blair H. Chan, III has extensive experience negotiating asset and debt distribution. We can help you secure what is important to you, including ownership of the family home or other assets. If you have questions about what options you have as you start the divorce process, call 813-280-5301 to schedule a consultation.

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