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Selling Your Florida Home During a Divorce

Are you faced with selling a house during divorce in Florida?

Focus on your goals and consider each option to make the process easier.

With almost half of marriages ending in divorce, many Floridians seek guidance on selling a house before, during, or after a divorce.

Houses hold significant value, unlike a bank account that can be easily divided.

Given the stress and emotions of divorce, it’s crucial to maintain rationality.

Homeowners worry about the fate of the house and whether a spouse can refuse to sell. Here are some common questions:

  • Who receives the house in a Florida divorce?
  • What counts as marital property in Florida?
  • Is Florida a 50/50 or community property state in divorce cases?
  • What entitlements does a spouse have in a Florida divorce?

This blog from the 123SoldCash Team walks through the ins and outs of selling your home during a divorce in Florida, and tackles the most common questions regarding selling martial property in the Sunshine State.


Who Receives The House In A Florida Divorce?

In divorce cases in Florida, the house’s division follows the “equitable distribution” model.

Who gets to keep the house?

This question weighs heavily on those going through a divorce. Relocation disrupts jobs, income, schools, neighborhoods, and personal connections.

If spouses cannot reach an agreement on who receives the house, the outcome depends on whether Florida law considers it “marital property” or “non-marital property” (also known as “separate property”).

Divorcing couples divide “marital property,” while “non-marital property” remains under the ownership of the current legal owner.

Determining what qualifies as “marital property” can be perplexing. Merely having the house under one spouse’s name doesn’t automatically make it separate property (e.g., if marital funds were used for its purchase). Even if one spouse acquired it before marriage, the house can be considered marital property if marital funds were used to pay the mortgage.

Let’s dive into how Florida defines marital property with some common examples.


What Counts As Marital Property In Florida?

During a marriage, marital property encompasses assets obtained within that time, asset appreciation from before the marriage, gifts between spouses, and retirement, pension, and insurance plans.

In Florida, divorce law mandates the “equitable distribution” of marital assets. Unless specific circumstances deem a 50/50 split unfair, the division of marital assets is typically done equally, with a 50/50 distribution.

What is considered marital property in Florida?

Under Florida law, marital property falls into at least seven categories:

  1. Assets acquired individually or jointly during the marriage.
  2. Increase in value of nonmarital assets due to the efforts of either spouse or the use of marital funds.
  3. Paying down a mortgage on nonmarital real estate using marital funds, including a portion of passive appreciation.
  4. Gifts exchanged between spouses during the marriage.
  5. Benefits, rights, and funds accumulated in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans during the marriage.
  6. Real estate owned jointly by the spouses as tenants by the entireties, regardless of when it was acquired.
  7. Personal property held jointly by the spouses as tenants by the entireties, regardless of when it was acquired.

Here are some real-life examples of marital property:

  • Bank accounts where either spouse deposits their income.
  • Real estate purchased and paid for during the marriage.
  • Vehicles bought during the marriage.
  • Retirement accounts that received contributions or were established during the marriage.
  • Insurance benefits obtained during the marriage.
  • Gifts given from one spouse to the other.
  • Pension benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, social security income, and stock options accumulated during the marriage.

What Is Non-Marital Property?

Not all property acquiring by a spouse during a marriage (or held before the marriage) is deemed “marital property” and so legally subject to be divided upon divorce.

According to Florida law, marital property can be grouped into at least seven categories:

  1. Assets obtained individually or jointly while married.
  2. Increase in value of nonmarital assets due to the efforts of either spouse or the use of marital funds.
  3. Paying down a mortgage on nonmarital real estate using marital funds, including a portion of passive appreciation.
  4. Gifts exchanged between spouses throughout the marriage.
  5. Benefits, rights, and funds accumulated in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans during the marriage.
  6. Real estate jointly owned by spouses as tenants by the entireties, regardless of acquisition time.
  7. Personal property jointly held by spouses as tenants by the entireties, regardless of acquisition time.

Here are some examples of real-life marital property:

  • Bank accounts where either spouse deposits their income.
  • Real estate purchased and paid for during the marriage.
  • Vehicles bought during the marriage.
  • Retirement accounts that received contributions or were established during the marriage.
  • Insurance benefits obtained during the marriage.
  • Gifts given from one spouse to the other.
  • Pension benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, social security income, and stock options accumulated during the marriage.

Assets & Liabilities: Be aware that “marital” and “not marital” property doesn’t only apply to valuable assets. Liabilities including mortgages, credit card debt, medical bills, or other moneys owed are also subject to marital distribution. If your spouse ran up substantial debts, you could be on the hook for it!


How Florida Divides Marital Property

In Florida, courts have the authority to adjust the standard 50/50 division of property based on considerations of fairness and equity.

Are you wondering if Florida follows a “community property” or “equitable distribution” approach in divorce cases?

In “community property” states, all property acquired during the marriage is typically split equally, with a 50-50 division. However, in “equitable distribution” states like Florida, property division is based on what is deemed fair and may not always result in a strict 50-50 split.

Florida follows an “equitable distribution” approach.

Marital assets can be divided in a manner other than an equal 50/50 split, taking into account factors such as contributions to the marital home, financial circumstances, marriage duration, career or education disruptions, and the need to provide a residence for dependent children.

Here’s how Jacksonville attorney Charles Willmont explained it:

In Florida, property division follows an equitable distribution approach. However, this doesn’t automatically mean an equal split. Various factors are considered to achieve a fair distribution, including child custody, support, and alimony. The court divides numerous possessions equitably, such as pensions, IRA’s, business property, vehicles, money, collectibles, jewelry, family items, and profit-sharing plans. Several factors come into play during the division, such as health insurance costs, annuities, debts, and trusts.

These are the factors that may lead a court to consider a split other than 50/50:

  1. Contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including child care, education, and homemaker duties.
  2. Economic circumstances of both parties.
  3. Duration of the marriage.
  4. Interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities for either spouse.
  5. Contribution of one spouse to the other’s career or education.
  6. Importance of preserving assets, such as businesses or professional practices, without interference from the other party.
  7. Contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, improvement, and income generation of marital and nonmarital assets.
  8. Consideration of keeping the marital home for a dependent child’s residence, if it is in their best interest and financially feasible for the parties.
  9. Intentional dissipation or depletion of marital assets after filing the petition or within two years before filing.
  10. Any other factors are necessary to ensure fairness and justice between the parties.

The court takes into account these factors to achieve equity and justice in the division of assets.


Options When Selling a House During  Divorce in Florida

One spouse can keep the house by “buying out” the other spouse with cash.

Option #1: “Buy Out” The Other Person

In a “buyout” scenario, one spouse pays the other half of the property’s market value to obtain sole ownership. The paying spouse can then reside in the property without any interference.

“Buyouts” are reasonable when family members need to remain in the same neighborhood. Considerations include proximity to children’s schools or job requirements for a spouse. This option allows for a smooth transition without uprooting the entire family.

However, it’s important to note that the party buying out the other needs to have adequate financial resources to complete the transaction.


Option #2: Co-Own The Home Afterwards

Co-owning the house can work as an amicable partnership.

After divorce, spouses have the option to maintain a “co-ownership” arrangement for a house. To proceed with this, they must agree on how to divide payments (mortgage, taxes, utilities, maintenance, insurance), determine the responsible party, and establish the property’s usage.

If the house is underwater or unsellable for other reasons, “co-owning” might be the only viable choice. When stuck with an unwanted house that cannot be sold, renting becomes a last-resort option.

Continued ownership offers the advantage of allowing spouses to utilize the property, minimizing disruptions for the entire family. However, co-ownership can be challenging if the spouses struggle to get along. It is advisable to pursue co-ownership only in cases of amicable divorces.


Option #3: Sell The Marital Home

Dividing the property by selling the house after divorce provides a clear solution.

Selling the house after divorce is a simpler option.

Once the house is sold, the sale proceeds can be easily divided according to the spouses’ preferences. The money can be used for finding new housing, covering attorney fees, paying off debts, and moving forward with their lives. The drawback is that everyone will experience some disruption in their living arrangements as they move away from the property.

If your house requires repairs before selling, consider selling it “as-is.” This approach saves you the frustration and expenses of renovations and allows for a quicker closing date.

Thinking about selling a house? We’ve love to make an offer. Our company 123SoldCash.com has been buying property for over five years. Click here to learn about our 3-Step Home Buying Process ➡️.


Option #4: Dividing The Assets

In divorce, one option is for one spouse to keep the house while the other receives different family assets.

Another possibility is to allow one spouse to retain the house while the other spouse receives other marital property of similar value. For instance, one spouse may keep the family home, while the other receives a combination of cash, stocks/bonds, vehicles, and other assets.

This approach is suitable when there are substantial marital assets available, allowing each spouse to choose property that aligns with their needs. The advantage is that the spouse who receives the house can avoid the upheaval of relocation.


Other Considerations

Determine if (and when) You Will Be Selling Your Home During Your Divorce in Florida

What is your plan for selling the house?

After considering the options mentioned above, you might find that selling the house during the divorce process is the best choice.

It is crucial to establish a timeline when selling your Florida house during a divorce.

Having a clear timeline for the sale can facilitate a seamless transition. Each spouse can make arrangements for their living situation and finances, knowing approximately when they will receive the proceeds from the sale.

For instance, agreements can be made where one spouse occupies the house for a specific period (often when children are involved), and then it is sold at a designated date (usually when the children reach a certain age).

It is advisable to list your home for sale in advance. Set definitive closing dates, moving dates, and times, and determine which spouse will handle the sale or communicate with the real estate agent. It is important to document these agreements in writing and negotiate penalties for any breaches.

Ensure that both spouses agree on the timeframe for selling to avoid potential conflicts in the future. This approach helps guarantee a smooth home sale without unexpected surprises.


Get Professional Help – Agents and Home Buyers / Investors

Feeling overwhelmed by the sale process? Seek help from a reliable professional.

Selling a home can be challenging, especially during a divorce.

With so much going on and numerous factors to consider, it’s best not to handle the home sale on your own. Disagreements with your spouse regarding the selling price or other matters can arise. By collaborating with a real estate professional, whether it’s a reputable agent or a real estate investment firm, you’ll have a neutral third party to assist you. They can help determine a fair selling price and take care of the home’s marketing.

We are at 123SoldCash have been buying houses in Florida. Our company has 5-star social media reviews and video testimonials from sellers we’ve worked with in the past. The 123SoldCash Team makes fast cash offers, as well as other “win-win” offers that work with both the property owner and us.

Click to see what our clients have to say about us 💬!

The “For Sale By Owner” Approach To Selling.

Are you thinking about selling your house directly to a buyer? This is known as the “for sale by owner” approach. By opting to sell “by owner,” homeowners aim to bypass the conventional method of listing the house on the MLS with a realtor. The advantages of a FSBO sale include saving on realtor commission, having control over the selling process, and potentially achieving a faster sale. However, it’s important to note that the downsides include reduced public exposure and fewer potential buyers getting a chance to see the inside of the property.


Selling Your House Fast For A Fair All-Cash Price

Want to sell fast? A full cash offer can get you to closing faster than a buyer needing mortgage approval.

One option for divorcing couples that want to resolve the housing issues ASAP is getting an all-cash offer.

Cash offers provide several benefits:

  1. No reliance on bank approval: Unlike traditional sales that require bank approval, cash offers eliminate the lengthy process and the risk of last-minute mortgage rejections, which can take 60+ days.
  2. No appraisal contingencies: With cash offers, there is no dependency on appraisers who may determine a lower value for the house, potentially jeopardizing the sale.
  3. Flexibility with property condition: Banks typically provide mortgages only for properties in good condition. Cash buyers, on the other hand, offer a viable option if the house has any issues or requires repairs.
  4. Savings on ongoing holding costs: By accepting a direct cash offer, you can avoid incurring the ongoing expenses associated with keeping a home on the market for months.

These advantages make cash offers an appealing choice for sellers.

By protecting each party with a qualified real estate agent or simply jointly deciding to sell and selling fast to a real estate investment firm like 123SoldCash, and moving the process as quickly and according to an agreed-upon schedule, all parties can walk away from the sale without stress.

Visit our “Get A Cash Offer” page for an offer on your house 💰!

“I cannot say enough about Chris and the team. Look no further! They got everything lined up smoothly and quickly from the beginning to the end. Took them just a few days to get us the cash for the house. I will definitely recommend to call Chris. God blessed you and your family.”

 ~ Daniel Jackson Fort Lauderdale, FL

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Jerryl says:  have worked with Chris and Rosangela. When it comes to probates, foreclosures, or just really really fair cash offers, their are the best in town.
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Great service, quick and efficient work! Loved every second working with 123SoldCash, I heavily recommend to the next people looking to sell their homes quickly. Best part they didn’t hassle me one time when I was still deciding whether to take the offer or not”

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We understand it is important for you to know we are legitimate, capable, and honest house buyers in Florida. We have the highest number of 5-star customer reviews, with videos to back up authenticity. There is no doubt we do what we say we will do! We Will Buy Your Divorce House. Any Condition!

We are a local and family-owned company. Fortunately, we are not agents. We are cash buyers. We are the ones actually buying the property in cash. This means we do not rely on bank financing, and you do not need to make any repairs. We buy your House By Owner. We make this process completely hassle-free and simple. Simply fill in the form on this page to find out exactly how much we would offer for your divorce house. No obligation to accept our offer.

Disclaimer: The content presented in articles on 123SoldCash.com is intended solely for general informational purposes. While we strive to offer information in good faith, we do not make any express or implied representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, sufficiency, validity, reliability, availability, or comprehensiveness of the content on our website. For legal advice, always consult with your attorney to obtain personalized guidance.

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