A Florida divorce requires that property, including the marital home, be equitably divided. To determine which spouse will get the marital home or whether the house will be sold; the court looks to a number of factors including the age of the children, if any; the income of the parties after alimony is determined; and the actual value of the home at the time of separation. When the court determines that one party may have exclusive use and possession of the home, which means that the individual with the home will be responsible for the payments on said home either through his/her income or the income established as alimony.
The Court may deem the sale of the home necessary after the oldest child reaches the age of 18; or to sell the home immediately, if there are no children. The party that is paying the mortgage and repairs to the home may be entitled to credit set-off at the time of the sale in accordance with Florida Statute 61.077. The Florida legislature has given ground rules for how to determine the credit to be used as a set-off at the time of the sale, including how to apply said credit when money is actually earned from the sale or when the house is underwater like so many others in Florida.
According to Florida Statute 61.077, the credit or set-off is not automatic, but must be ordered by the Judge or put into the language of the Consent Final Judgment of Divorce. In the absence of the parties having reached an agreement, the court can look at certain factors presented by the parties to determine whether there should, in fact, be a credit or set-off for the mortgage, repairs and other related expenses to the home.
A Florida family lawyer can help you understand your rights and options regarding the martial home. A divorce attorney is able to help you understand how the home may be divided in your set of circumstances and whether a set-off is in your best interest or will likely be awarded by the court.