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Negotiating what to do with a home in divorce

For Florida residents who are getting a divorce, the family home may be seen as both an important financial asset and an object of emotional attachment. Couples who are able to negotiate the division of the family home might be happier with the outcome than if they resort to litigation and have a judge decide.

For example, a judge has the ability to force a sale. Profits would then be split. A judge might also consider whether one person might have a greater attachment to the home due to receiving it in an inheritance or because it has been in that person's family for a significant amount of time. If this is the case, the house may be awarded to that person even if both spouses are on the deed.

Alternately, a judge might award the house to one person and a retirement account to the other. This could leave the person who gets the house thinking they have the best deal, but financial experts advise caution. A retirement account does not come with a mortgage or the cost of upkeep that a home requires.

A judge may also award a home to the custodial parent in order to preserve stability for the children. However, on their own, parents might negotiate a plan that allows both to live on the property or take turns in the house.

People who are facing the end of a marriage might want to discuss with an attorney how they will make the best decisions for themselves and their children whether they are able to negotiate the outcome with their estranged spouse or must turn to litigation. Some people may be tempted to give up more assets than they should because they feel guilty about the divorce or they want to get it over with, but they should keep in mind that it is important to try to establish financial security.

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