Dividing Real Estate in Divorce
In a Florida divorce proceeding, the couple’s marital property is subject to equitable distribution. Dividing the family home and other shared real estate between the spouses is often a complicated aspect of ending a marriage. Consulting a West Palm Beach divorce lawyer can help you understand and protect your rights in your shared property. With over forty years of collective experience, the team at The Law Office of Jessica Mishali, P.A. can provide the legal guidance you need during a divorce. We can answer any questions you may have regarding property distribution and dividing marital assets under Florida law.Dividing Real Estate in Divorce
When a couple divorces in Florida, their marital property, assets, and real estate must be divided. If the parties executed a valid prenuptial agreement before their marriage, any terms concerning their separate or marital property must be reviewed. The court will consider several factors when dividing real property, which are provided under the Florida equitable distribution statute. However, if the parties can come to an agreement regarding the ownership of their house and other real estate, the court will typically accept it. It is important to consider thoroughly any agreement relating to marital property division. Once the division of real estate has been formally entered with the divorce decree, it is final. Unlike other matters, such as child custody or spousal support, you cannot ask the court to modify the property division at a later date due to a change in circumstances.The Marital Home
For many couples dividing real estate in a divorce, their home is their largest shared asset and, as such, it must be carefully accounted for in the equitable distribution process. In most cases, there are three options to divide the equity of the marital home. First, the home may be listed for sale on the market, and any proceeds from the sale can be divided between the parties. Second, one of the parties can buy out the other party’s interest in the home. The starting point in a buyout is usually to determine the fair market value of the property. If the parties do not agree on the fair market value, it may be necessary to obtain a real estate appraisal. The amount that is actually paid for the home may be negotiated and reduced by other considerations. A buyout may also require the buyer to refinance the existing mortgage or take out a new loan. A third option may work in cases where the divorcing couple has young children. One of the parents is allowed to live in the house with exclusive use and possession, usually until the children are no longer minors. At that time, the parties may opt to sell the house or do a buyout. A skilled divorce attorney can help you develop a proposal for dividing the value of your marital home.Disagreements
In some cases, the parties may disagree as to whether real estate is separate property or marital property. Generally, real estate is presumed to be separate property if it was acquired before the marriage and does not have the other spouse on the title. This presumption may be overcome, however, with evidence that the home was purchased with joint funds. In addition, separate property may be subject to partial distribution in some situations. For example, if the mortgage payments were made with marital funds, or if labor or marital funds were used to improve the house, the equity or any increase in the value of the home may be subject to equitable distribution.Speak to a West Palm Beach Lawyer About Dividing Real Estate in a Divorce
A seasoned divorce attorney can advocate on your behalf during a divorce and help you protect your interests when dividing real estate in West Palm Beach. At our firm, Jessica Mishali can also assist people with divorce and child support issues in areas including Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Hobe Sound, Indiantown, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Royal Palm Beach, Hallandale Beach, Wellington, Coral Springs, Hollywood, Delray Beach, Pembroke Pines, Davie, Plantation, Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, and Pompano Beach, as well as other locations in Martin, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Arrange a consultation by calling (561) 833-2772 or completing our contact form online.