Your Tomorrow
Starts Today

Dividing debt and determining how to split a house in a divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2020 | High Asset Divorce |

Married couples in Florida who accumulated assets and debts together may need to divide them fairly during a divorce. Debts subject to division may include joint liabilities such as credit card accounts, auto loans and a mortgage, as described by The Florida Bar. 

If only one spouse contributed income toward shared liabilities, he or she may wish to negotiate the right to keep the assets purchased. The court, however, may look at how much the nonworking spouse contributed toward maintaining the couple’s shared household. 

A nonworking spouse may have a right to a marital asset

When a nonworking spouse relied on his or her working spouse’s income, a shared asset, such as the couple’s primary home, may require selling. The amount left after paying the mortgage and any possible liens may then divide fairly between the two spouses. 

Fairness, however, may call for showing evidence of how much a nonworking spouse contributed to the property’s value. For example, a nonworking spouse who performed landscaping and housecleaning duties on a regular basis has added to the home’s equity. A fair division of sale proceeds may need to include the value of each spouse’s involvement. 

A spouse may buyout or assume a mortgage

If one spouse wishes to keep a home, the court may require proof that he or she has the financial ability to do so. As noted by Forbes magazine, a buyout of the property by one spouse may require applying for a new mortgage or trading other assets to reduce the price owed to the other spouse. Requesting financial support from a soon-to-be ex-spouse may assist an individual by providing income to maintain the house in the future.