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In a divorce, the family home can loom large

A recent legal survey confirms what many people in Florida and across the country likely already know very well, namely, that the family home often stands front and center as a material concern in divorce proceedings.

That should hardly be surprising, for several reasons. First, a house represents for many families an enduring homestead, something solid and lasting , an edifice replete with memories. Thus, there is in many cases an abiding emotional connection to a home.

Second, that connection is often supplemented by the financial value inhering in a house, especially for couples who resided in a home long enough to see an appreciable uptick in its value.

For those and additional reasons, the house is often the proverbial elephant in the closet when it comes to property division in a divorce proceeding, with many potential considerations involved.

Those are sufficiently numerous -- and singular in any given case -- to merit close input from a family law attorney with deep experience in asset division matters.

A cautionary story cited in a recent Reuters article goes far toward explaining why. In one divorce, one of the partners deeded title to the family home to the other, as well as provided the mortgage lender with a copy of the divorce decree.

Notwithstanding that, the deeding spouse was subsequently surprised to find that the bank still considered him liable under the existing mortgage.

Such surprises can be common among spouses dealing with homes during the divorce process. As Reuters notes, divorcing parties “should map out their property-division carefully and have solid legal representation.”

Source: Reuters, "YOUR MONEY-Splitsville? How to divide property in a divorce," Geoff Williams, Oct. 7, 2013

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