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What happens to the boat during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2019 | Divorce |

Like many of your friends, you have a boat that you love. After all, few things are better than sailing into the ocean or hitting up Lake Okeechobee during your free time. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse jointly own your boat, though, you may wonder what happens to it after your divorce concludes.

In Florida, you can ask a judge to divide marital property. If you go this route, you can expect the judge to take an equitable distribution approach. That is, he or she is likely to divide property based upon what is fair to each spouse. You also have the option of coming up with your own plan, though. When dealing with your boat, you have a few options.

Sell the boat

Perhaps the most common way to address a boat in the leadup to a divorce is to sell the boat and split the proceeds with your partner. Of course, this option presents some challenges. That is, not only must you find a willing buyer, but you also likely must accept the depreciated value for the vessel. As such, your boat may be worth more to you than its sale price suggests.

Keep the boat

If you love your boat, you may not want anyone else to own it. Fortunately, you may have the ability to keep your boat after your divorce. If you choose this option, you likely must come up with enough funds to buy out your spouse’s ownership interest. Alternatively, you may give up other items to compensate for the value of the boat.

Share the boat

Even though your marriage is coming to an end, you may be on good terms with your spouse. If both you and your partner want to continue using the boat, you can possibly come up with a usage schedule. Doing so, though, requires addressing some matters. For example, you need to determine who is responsible for paying for upkeep and maintenance on the vessel.