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Boynton Beach Family & Divorce Attorney / Blog / Divorce / Who Gets to Keep the House in a Florida Divorce?

Who Gets to Keep the House in a Florida Divorce?


In Florida, the house often represents not only the largest financial asset a couple owns but also a central piece of their shared lives and memories. Understanding how Florida law approaches the division of such a significant asset can help ease the uncertainty and stress that often accompanies divorce proceedings.

Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution when dividing marital assets during a divorce. This means that the court does not necessarily divide marital property equally but in a manner that is fair and just to both parties involved. The marital home, as a central asset, is subject to this principle.

The first step in determining who gets the house is establishing whether it is marital property. Generally, if the home was acquired during the marriage, it is considered marital property, regardless of whose name is on the deed. However, if one spouse owned the home prior to the marriage, it might initially be considered separate property, although certain factors, such as the contribution of the other spouse to the home’s upkeep or mortgage, can blur these lines.

Factors Influencing the Decision

Duration of the Marriage: In longer marriages, the marital home may be more likely to be considered a joint asset.

Economic Circumstances of Each Spouse: The court considers each spouse’s financial situation post-divorce, potentially awarding the home to the spouse who may not be able to independently purchase a new one.

Contributions to the Marriage: This includes not only financial contributions to the home, such as mortgage payments or renovations but also non-financial contributions, like homemaking and childcare.

Welfare of Children: If children are involved, the court often considers the impact on their stability and continuity of lifestyle. Typically, the custodial parent might be awarded the home to minimize disruption in the children’s lives.

These factors are weighed carefully to reach a decision that supports a fair and feasible outcome for both parties, acknowledging that each divorce case presents a unique set of circumstances and challenges.

Practical Considerations and Options

When deciding who gets the house in a Florida divorce, several practical options may be available depending on the specific circumstances of the case:

One Spouse Buys Out the Other’s Share: This is a common solution if one spouse wishes to keep the house. The spouse retaining the home typically refinances the mortgage in their own name and compensates the other for their share of the equity.

Selling the House and Dividing the Proceeds: If neither spouse can afford to buy out the other or if both parties agree to move on completely, selling the house and dividing the proceeds according to the equitable distribution rules can be the cleanest solution.

Continued Co-Ownership: Although less common, some divorced couples choose to keep the house co-owned for a period, often until children finish schooling or the market improves for selling. This requires a high level of cooperation and clear legal agreements to manage responsibilities and costs.

Each option has its own legal and financial considerations, and what works for one couple may not be appropriate for another. The decision involves understanding the immediate financial impact as well as the long-term implications for both parties’ living situations and financial health.

Deciding who gets the house in a Florida divorce involves Florida statutes, personal circumstances, and emotional considerations. Understanding your rights and options under Florida’s equitable distribution laws is crucial. Every situation is unique, and what is considered equitable is heavily dependent on the specifics of your case and the discretion of the court.

The stakes are high, and the decisions made during your divorce can have long-lasting effects on your financial and emotional well-being. That’s why it’s vital to have knowledgeable and empathetic legal representation.

Contact Law Offices of Taryn G. Sinatra, P.A.

Navigating the division of marital assets, especially when it involves something as significant as your family home, requires skilled legal guidance. At the Law Offices of Taryn G. Sinatra, P.A., we understand the emotional and financial complexities involved in divorce. Our team is committed to providing compassionate and competent legal support to ensure that your interests are protected and your divorce settlement is fair. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you through your divorce process.



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