selling a house during divorce in florida

How To Sell A House During Divorce in Florida

Divorce is a challenging reality for many couples. In the United States, the rate of divorce for first marriages is estimated to be around 40 to 50%, according to the American Psychological Association. When a marriage ends, one of the key questions that often arises is how shared assets, including real estate, will be handled. Is a 50/50 split of all assets required?

Can You Divorce Without Selling the House?

When facing the decision of whether to keep or sell a house during a divorce, it’s crucial to consider various options. One key initial step is to inform your legal representatives and the Court about the date the property was acquired. This information plays a significant role in determining whether the house will be sold and the proceeds divided equally, or if the property is classified as separate from marital assets.

If the court determines that a property is “separate property,” which means it was purchased before the marriage, gifted or inherited to you as an individual, or bought using your separate assets at any time, then your spouse has no legal rights to that property, regardless of whether you live in a community or equitable distribution state. However, there may be some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you updated the property in a way that increased its value, your spouse may be entitled to a share of that increased value. If you’re unsure whether a property is considered separate or a marital asset, it’s best to consult with a lawyer who can provide expert advice.

During a divorce proceeding, the court considers various factors to determine the distribution of the marital home, such as:

  • The property’s value.
  • The financial situations of both parties.
  • The employability of each spouse.
  • Contributions, both physical and financial, made to the marital home.
  • The age, physical well-being, and mental health of each spouse.
  • Custody arrangements for any children involved.

Who Gets The House in A Divorce?

Divorce proceedings are governed by State law, which dictates how assets are divided. Most states adhere to equitable distribution laws, where a judge divides marital property based on what is deemed fair, considering various factors like individual contributions to the household. This doesn’t always translate to an equal split but aims for fairness.

Nine states follow community property laws: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Alaska also has community property laws, but couples must opt in. In these states, marital assets acquired during the marriage are typically split 50/50, with few exceptions.

There are several options available to you and your partner and/or the Courts when it comes to selling (or not selling) your marital home. These include:

One of the spouses buys out the other legal interest and keeps the home

If you are a married homeowner residing in a community property state, all your assets will be divided equally between you and your spouse in case of a divorce. However, this does not necessarily imply that you will have to sell your house. You may discuss with your spouse in court and agree to pay off their legal interest in the house so that you can keep it. To do this, you will need to become the sole owner of the property within a specific timeframe after the divorce decree is agreed upon.

One spouse keeps use and occupancy of the home for a specified period; typically when the youngest child turns eighteen, then the house can be sold.

In some states, when one parent is granted custody of minors, they may also be granted use of the house until the child becomes eighteen years old. The Court will decide whether the spouse allowed occupancy would be required to pay for the mortgage, bills, insurance, etc. If allowed occupancy, the house would belong to that spouse until the time when all the children have turned eighteen. Only then would the house need to be sold, and the assets divided between the spouses..

Co-own the home

Divorce doesn’t have to result in an emotional and financial battle. Co-owning a property can be the best solution for the family’s well-being, whether living together or separately. For couples with children who wish to maintain stability by keeping them in the same home, staying on the mortgage together can minimize disruptions. For instance, consider a scenario where a husband and wife with three children decide to co-own the property. While the husband is the primary breadwinner, the wife plays a crucial role as the main caregiver for their children. Due to her homemaker status, she may not have the financial resources, employment history, or means to buy out her husband’s share of the property.

This arrangement offers benefits such as stability for the family, but it hinges on the departing spouse trusting that their ex-partner will meet their financial obligations on time. Failure to do so could negatively impact both parties’ credit scores.

The house is sold immediately and any equity is split up

When it comes to resolving property ownership matters, selling the house is often seen as the most direct approach. By listing the house on the market at an agreed-upon price, the proceeds can then be divided either equally (50/50) between parties or as determined by the Court. The speed of this process can vary significantly based on the local real estate market conditions. In instances where the housing market is slow, the property is in disrepair, or there are encumbrances on the title, a traditional home sale may not be the most suitable option. In such scenarios, selling the property directly to a cash buyer or investor could offer a quicker and more convenient way to finalize the sale and move forward.

Steps to Sell a Home During Divorce

1. Hire A Divorce Specialist Real Estate Agent

Before listing your house for sale, the first step you should take is to determine the division of property either by hiring lawyers or going through the Court. Divorce can be a highly emotional and turbulent time for both partners, so it is recommended to seek guidance from professional experts who have experience in selling real estate during a divorce. They can help you navigate through this process smoothly and efficiently.

2. Agree On Home Sale Specifics

When considering selling your house with your partner, it’s essential to align on the selling strategy. Do you aim for a quick sale to expedite asset division, or are you willing to invest time and money in property upgrades to maximize its selling price in the current real estate market? In case of a deadlock, involving legal counsel may be necessary to reach a resolution.

If you opt for making repairs and enhancements, agreement on sharing expenses and understanding how these investments influence profit distribution is crucial. It’s advisable to finalize these agreements with a lawyer before proceeding further to avoid complications during the closing process.

However, beyond expenses and profits, numerous decisions need to be made. How will the property be managed during listing? Whose agent will represent the sale? What listing price is appropriate? Will the property remain vacant, or will one of you reside there until it’s sold? Who shoulders the mortgage and bills, and if the property is unoccupied, who ensures it’s show-ready for open houses and viewings? Ideally, clarify these aspects with legal guidance beforehand to streamline the process, save time, and prevent legal fees from eating into your sale proceeds.

3. Know What to Expect in Order to Close the Sale

In the process of selling your property with your ex-partner, it’s crucial to maintain a level-headed approach when evaluating offers from potential buyers. While it may be straightforward with only a couple of offers, in hot real estate markets where multiple offers are common, you may find yourselves engaging in extensive discussions with your legal and real estate representatives to determine the best course of action. To streamline this process, it’s advisable to establish a clear strategy prior to listing the property. Whether your preference is to swiftly accept the first offer without contingencies or to opt for the offer that promises the highest return on investment, reaching a mutual decision beforehand is essential before proceeding with the sale.

4. Divide the Proceeds

The final step in the process of settling a divorce usually involves selling the house. If you’ve received help from the courts or your lawyers in settling the divorce, you should already know how the proceeds from the sale of the house will be divided. If there are any outstanding liens or obligations on the house, the escrow company will take care of them before distributing the money. This way, you can move on with your life without any financial burdens related to the house..

OR

5. Sell Your House AS-IS to A Cash Buyer

Are you currently in a situation where you and your ex-partner are unable or unwilling to communicate with each other? Do you feel ready to move on from your marriage and start the next chapter of your life? Is the stress from the divorce taking a toll on you, and you believe that a quick and straightforward sale of your jointly-owned marital property would benefit everyone involved? If so, then selling your property to a direct cash home buyer or investor could be the ideal solution for you.

Investors and direct home buyers are willing to pay cash for properties, regardless of their condition or the owners’ financial and marital situation. They specialize in fast closings, allowing property owners to sell their property quickly, unlike traditional home sales. They also purchase houses and properties as-is, which means that they are willing to pay cash for a property even if it requires upgrades or major repairs.

For a couple going through a painful and expensive divorce, selling their property to such investors or direct home buyers could be the best option for the family. It not only allows them to sell the property for a fair cash price, but it also enables them to close the deal quickly without having to negotiate terms through lawyers and a shared real estate agent.

Selling Your House During A Divorce? Contact Us For Your Cash Offer Today!

KeyCashin is a local house-buying company that buys houses for cash, regardless of the condition or the homeowners’ current financial situation. We offer competitive cash offers without the hassle of dealing with real estate agents, lawyers, and other third parties. If you’re considering a direct home sale, we’d be happy to chat with you anytime, day or night. You can reach us at (754) 714-7497. We’re known for buying homes with less stress and fewer fees, and we’re committed to maintaining that reputation. 

If you’re the owner of a property that you need to sell quickly due to a divorce, we have a solution for you. Contact us today and receive a competitive cash offer for your house or rental property. We buy homes regardless of your individual financial situation or the condition of the property. Even if the house has been neglected for years or suffered damage in the last storm, our team of experts will handle all of the costly repairs and upgrades once you accept our fair cash offer. We aim to make the process of selling a house during a divorce as stress-free as possible for you.