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In a Florida Divorce, Who Keeps the Home?

The divorce process can feel like a long and winding road, or even a rollercoaster that you can’t seem to get off of. Regardless, the point is that there is a lot that goes on during a Florida divorce and it can be overwhelming on a number of levels. One of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for divorce is to learn about what lies ahead. What happens during divorce? What issues will need to be resolved? For instance, division of the marital assets is, perhaps, one of the biggest issues that will need to be addressed in a divorce. It can leave many people stressed as they wonder who will get what. In particular, who will get to keep the home is a big worry for many embarking on the divorce journey.

In a Florida Divorce, Who Keeps the Home?

Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means that that property deemed to be “marital” as opposed to “separate” will be equitably divided between the divorcing spouses. Generally speaking, property acquired during the marriage will be marital and that acquired prior to marriage will be separate, with some notable exceptions. In order to divide the marital property equitably, a number of factors will be considered.

The home is most commonly going to be considered a marital asset. This is due, in large part, to the fact that the couple’s home is often purchased during the marriage. If it was purchased by one spouse prior to marriage, it may still be considered a marital asset if marital funds went into paying for or improving the house over the course of the marriage.

Because the home is often the couple’s most significant asset, it is likely going to be subject to division. There are, however, a number of ways a house can be divided during divorce. Prior to division, the house’s value will need to be assessed. One spouse may wish to buy out the other spouse’s interest in the house. To do so, this is usually accomplished by one spouse paying the other 50% of the house’s assessed value. The spouse buying out the other spouse’s interests in the house would, thus, get to keep possession of the home.

If a buyout is financially feasible, it may be a good way to handle the division of the home. This is particularly true if the spouse buying out the other spouse’s interests is also the primary caregiver of the children. This will allow the children to stay in the same home and minimize disruptions to their lifestyles and schedules. Changes in homes often come with changes in schools, changes in neighborhoods, and many other things that can further throw off the child’s life. That is why court’s often support them staying in the marital home after a divorce as it is most likely to be in the best interest of the child to do so.

Sometimes, however, the buyout option is not financially feasible. If the buyout option is not financially feasible or the spouses cannot agree on who should keep the marital home, the only other option may be the sale of the home. Upon sale, the proceeds would be divided among the couple in an equitable manner.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Get the answers you need to be best prepared for the divorce process ahead. The team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou is here to help. Contact us today.

Andrew Nickolaou

Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.