Separation and Living Arrangements – Who Should Remain in the House?

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For many Florida couples the marital home represents the largest financial asset, so what happens to the home could substantially affect your financial security for years to come. But for some couples the marital home represents more than just a financial asset, it represents a life time of memories. Thus, the decision of who will remain in the house in the event of a divorce can be a tough decision to make- both financially and emotionally.

When you are deciding on whether to stay in your house there are many factors for you to consider: Mortgage payments, taxes, home owners insurance, utilities, and maintenance are only a few. Be smart, and make your decision on what you can afford, not what you want. Typically there are three options when it comes to the marital home during a divorce:

1. Sell the house immediately and split the proceeds with your former spouse.
2. Continue to own the house jointly with your spouse and make plans to sell the house at a future date. The proceeds would be split at that time. Often time if children are involved, this is the preferred option until the children reach the age of majority.
3. One spouse buys out the other’s interest in the home.

Today’s real estate market in Jacksonville has made decisions as to the ownership, possession, and / or sale of the marital home to be very complicated. Many couples cannot afford to sell the house until market conditions change. Others have decided to continue to live together during the divorce/separation process just to avoid the financial hassle. Regardless, it is likely to cause financial strain and stress to both parties.