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Divorcing In Florida? Do You Have To Sell The Home?


A couple has purchased several homes, including a vacation home, over the twenty years that they have been married. Now that they are considering divorce, neither spouse is willing to let go of the family home or the vacation homes, despite it being a seller’s market. Should they sell both homes and cut their losses, each keep one home, or rent either home and share the proceeds? Do they have to sell both homes just because they are getting a divorce in Tampa?

Understanding Your Options

It is a common misconception that divorce always results in sale of the marital home, but this is not always the case. Bear in mind that when minor children are involved, often the courts will encourage the parties to decide which party will keep the family home in order to maintain stability for the children, although this is not always feasible. If one party does retain the home, they may need to pay the other party their share of equity in the home or half of what is considered fair market value.

If both parties are insistent that the children are not forced to shuffle between homes, they may consider nesting. Nesting is a new concept where the children remain in the home and the parents shuffle between the family home and an apartment. This is a novel idea but it works for some families. It does require both parties to remain close to home even after the divorce. For example, dad would live in the home from Monday to Thursday while mom remained in her apartment, and then dad would go back to his apartment while mom would be in the family home from Thursday evenings to Monday mornings. This option is sometimes expensive because it requires upkeep of the family home in addition to an apartment.

What About Rental and Investment Properties?

What happens when a married couple has entered a joint venture, manages real estate or owns a considerable investment portfolio? What if they have always rented their beach house or vacation home and do not want to lose a passive income stream? The truth is, even though a couple is divorcing, they do not need to sell every asset they own jointly. This is apparent when it comes to real property and investment properties. Each party needs to decide whether the death of the marriage is the death of their business relationship. If communication is impossible, it simply is not practical for the parties to hold on to investment properties because they would be expected to negotiate about some of the issues from time to time. In that case, to avoid potential headaches, selling investment properties or hiring a property manager to handle logistics is a better option.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

Selling the family home is not an easy task. Moving is a chore but moving due to a divorce is a painful process. It is possible that a home might not get swept up in divorce if the parties can agree to an equitable division of the assets or alternate arrangements. To discuss your options, contact our Tampa divorce attorneys at Bubley & Bubley, P.A.

Location & Directions

Bubley & Bubley, P.A. is located in Tampa, FL and serves clients in and around Brandon, Odessa, Tampa, Oldsmar, Land O Lakes, Thonotosassa, Valrico, Wesley Chapel, Lutz, St Petersburg, Plant City & Brooksville, Safety Harbor, Holiday, Trilby, Crystal Beach, Ozona, Apollo Beach, New Port Richey, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Port Richey, San Antonio, Spring Hill, Lithia, Pasco County and Pinellas County.

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