Property division can be a source of dispute in a Florida divorce. This is especially true regarding the marital home. As the case moves forward and the parties seek to split marital assets, the battle over the marital home or the proceeds from its sale can turn into a long, drawn-out process rife with acrimony. Understanding who is entitled to credits or setoffs during the sale of a home is imperative in a case. As with any family law matter, it can be useful to have legal advice from the beginning.
A setoff is when one party is paid a lump sum or is given other assets to release their claim to a piece of property. This would clear the way for the other spouse to do as they wish with the home. There can be no credits or setoffs when the home is sold unless it is agreed to in the divorce; it was part of the final judgment; or there was a judgment to equally distribute the assets or debts, with a specification that the setoffs or credits be part of the decision.
If there is no settlement agreement, the court will decide on the setoffs or credits based on certain factors. The court will assess whether the property is for the exclusive use and possession of the spouse who retains it and why this award is being made. It will consider whether alimony is being paid to the party in possession of the property and determine whether that alimony will cover the costs of the home, including taxes and the mortgage. The court will determine if one spouse is paying child support and decide whether that support will cover housing costs.
The value of the property and the occupancy will be considered. Tax deductions, mortgage interest payments and other ancillary financial factors will be part of the process. If one or both parties will face a capital gains tax when the property is sold, this will be considered. Finally, any factor used to come to a just resolution will be weighed by the court.
When moving forward with a divorce in Florida, most cases are bound to have disagreements. A common source for ill will is determining how to split an item of immense value like a marital home. A law firm that understands property division and other areas of family law may be able to help.