As many Florida residents who have gone through a divorce know all too well, the property division phase of the proceedings can often be difficult. In many cases, the home is the most valuable asset owned by the estranged couple. While in some cases they might be able to come to an accord on their own as to how to deal with the home, in other cases a judge will make the decision for them.
Judges are always interested in what arrangements work best for the children in the family in order to maintain stability and avoid disruption. In other words, the parent who receives primary physical custody frequently retains the home, so children will not be forced to move to a new school and away from friends or nearby family members. However, a judge may not award the home to a parent who cannot afford it.
In some instances, the divorcing couple may be required by the judge to sell the property. However, this might not mean that the profit from the house sale is split down the middle. Circumstances that may alter what is awarded to each spouse can include who made the initial down payment and who paid for improvements to the home. In addition, an inherited property is more likely to stay with the party who received it, even if both parties are listed on the title.
The state of Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution when it comes to making property division determinations. This means that the court will make a decision in a manner that it deems fair. However, in some cases this could result in neither party being satisfied, so they may want to have the assistance of their respective attorneys in negotiating a settlement agreement.