Splitting up valuable property is often the most pressing challenge when people divorce. Spouses may fight over which assets should be considered marital property and who should get to keep certain assets. The most financially significant assets and those with the most emotional value attached are frequently the source of the most intense disputes during marital dissolution in Florida.
Although the equitable distribution standard seeks to make a fair outcome the goal, both spouses will probably feel very strongly about what is fair and what is not per their family’s situation. Spouses often disagree about who should stay in the family home or whether to sell the home or not. Even if they agree about what to theoretically do with the property, they may also disagree about what the property is worth. The value of the home will influence many matters, for example, like whether the spouse who is hoping to retain the home can afford the mortgage.
The market guides property’s value
When considering valuable assets in a marital estate, the Florida family courts typically want to use the current fair market value for those assets when making decisions about property division matters. It is not what the couple paid when they bought the house nor the principal balance on their mortgage that determines the value of the property. The assessed value imposed by the local tax authority is also not the right amount.
Typically, the fair market value is a number that reflects what other comparable properties in the area have sold for and the unique condition of the property in question. Real estate professionals, often appraisers, typically handle the process of setting a fair market value for home during a divorce or other legal matters. Occasionally, if there is a disagreement about whether the appraised value of the home is reasonable, each spouse might even obtain a separate appraisal, and then they may have to negotiate about the difference between those two amounts. The value set for the home will influence everything else about property division and can therefore be a very important detail to get right.
Seeking legal guidance to better understand the rules that govern equitable property division in Florida can help those who are hoping to protect themselves during a Florida divorce.