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Who Gets to Keep the House?

Property division may be one of the most anxiety-inducing aspects of divorce. After all, who gets what can have powerful personal and financial consequences for everyone involved. Property such as the marital home can be a particularly contentious subject when it comes to property division. The home is often one of the larger, if not the largest, asset to be addressed during the division process. On top of that, a home has so many other emotional and personal implications tied up into it that parties often worry about what will happen to the home upon divorce. Who gets to keep it?

Who Gets to Keep the House?

Florida is an equitable distributions state. This means that marital property will be divided in a manner that is fair, but not necessarily equal during the divorce process. It will usually be close to a 50/50 split unless there are other factors which would make such a division inequitable. Only marital property will be subject to division. Property deemed to be separate will remain under the ownership of that respective spouse. Most property acquired over the course of marriage will be considered marital property.

In regard to the marital home, or the home you lived in while you were married, it may be considered separate property if you or your spouse acquired the home prior to marriage. It can often get complicated, however, if the house was bought prior to marriage, but there were renovations and improvements made to the home over the course of the marriage. In such cases, the home may be separate property, but the improvements and increase in value as a result of such improvements, will likely be factored in and subject to division as being marital assets.

If the home is separate property, it will stay with you or your former spouse, whoever owns it. If, however, the home is marital property in whole or in part, who will get the home can be a complicated determination. If you or your spouse wants to keep the home, then the court may allow this, especially if there are children living in the home. As a result, however, your spouse is likely to be entitled to other marital assets in order to level out the division and make it equitable. If keeping the home is not something that either spouse wants or it is otherwise impossible or impractical to keep the home, the house may be sold and the proceeds from the sale divided accordingly.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Are you considering getting divorced in Florida? It is likely that you will have many questions and concerns about the process right from the start. The dedicated family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou is here to help. We are here to answer your questions and protect your best interests throughout the divorce process. Remember, divorce can have powerful and far-reaching personal and financial impacts. Get trusted legal representation. Contact us today.

About the Author
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 and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.
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.