In the state of Florida, marital assets are divided in divorce through equitable distribution. This applies to all property the spouses owned during their marriage, including vacation homes. Under equitable distribution, the court reviews the marital assets and liabilities and determines which assets each spouse should take from the divorce. When the marital asset in question is a vacation home or other real estate property, there are several options the divorcing parties should consider.
Methods for Resolving Vacation Property Issues in Divorce
Sell the Vacation Property
The most common choice divorcing couples make is to simply sell the vacation home and split the profits. This is a preferred solution because it is typically quick and divides the value of the property equally between both parties. Occasionally, however, there may be a spouse that does not want to sell the property due to sentimental value or other reason, so the divorcing parties may try another option. One helpful question to ask is, “What is the current market value of the property?” If you do not know, it may be beneficial to acquire an appraisal of the home. Should you decide to sell the property, both parties will know how much the property can be sold for and whether it is worth it to sell.
Share the Vacation Property
There are some cases in which the divorce between two spouses is mutually agreed upon and the marriage is ended on amicable terms. In those cases, instead of selling the vacation property, the divorced couple may decide to share the property. Each spouse would pay their own share in property taxes and other expenses required maintaining the home. In return, each spouse would have the ability to use the vacation property at separate times of the year. While this is not as common for divorcing couples, it can be a good option for couples with children. For instance, divorced couples with children may wish to continue taking their children to the vacation home for summer vacation.
Keep the Vacation Property
If one spouse really wishes to keep the vacation property, while the other does not, it can be arranged for one spouse to hold on to the vacation home exclusively. If this happens, the party keeping the vacation home will likely give up a significant amount of their marital assets to maintain fairness and equitable distribution. Many spouses who come to possess the vacation home exclusively make it their primary residence for tax purposes.
The divorce attorneys at Fuller & Fuller understand that vacation homes are a source of great memories for many families. This can make it very especially difficult to part with. Our divorce attorneys are experienced with divorce cases involving vacation properties, and we are here to help you through the steps of your divorce. To speak to an Ocala divorce attorney today, contact us at (352) 547-4292. Our firm serves Marion, Citrus, Lake, and Sumter Counties and The Villages.