Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Florida?

Key Takeaways
  • Equitable Distribution Process: In Florida divorces, marital assets, including the house, undergo equitable distribution, where property is divided fairly, although not necessarily equally, based on various factors.
  • Types of Property: Property in a divorce is categorized into separate property (acquired before marriage) and marital property (acquired during marriage). Separate property is retained by the original owner, while marital property is subject to division.
  • Factors Affecting Division: The court considers factors such as each spouse’s economic circumstances, contributions to the marriage, duration of marriage, post-divorce asset waste, and impact on children when determining equitable distribution.
  • Division of the House: If the house is marital property, options include one spouse staying while the other receives other assets, selling the house and dividing the proceeds, or one spouse buying out the other’s interest. Legal and real estate professionals can assist in navigating these decisions.
  • Legal Guidance: Consulting with a Stuart divorce lawyer can provide valuable advice and representation throughout the divorce process, ensuring that property division, including the house, is handled effectively and fairly.

There is no standard answer on what happens to a couple’s house when they go through a divorce in Florida. The marital assets go through a process of equitable distribution, in which the property is divided in half, except where fairness calls for a different type of split. At the end of this process, one spouse may get to remain in the house, or the couple may be ordered to sell the home and split the proceeds.

A divorcing couple can avoid the uncertainty of allowing a judge to distribute the property by drafting a settlement themselves. If they cannot do so, they can negotiate with the guidance of a Stuart divorce attorney or participate in mediation with a neutral third party. Agreeing to property division outside of court can also be beneficial because it helps parties regain a sense of control in an otherwise tumultuous time. However, not all couples can reach an agreement, leaving the division in the hands of a judge.

How Is Property Divided in Florida?

There are two types of property at issue in a Florida divorce: marital property and separate property. Separate property is property that either spouse acquired before marriage, and it is not divided; the spouse who brought it into the marriage retains full rights to it after the divorce. Marital property is property that was acquired by either person during the marriage, and it is generally divided equally between the spouses unless fairness dictates that it be divided unequally.

Under the process of equitable distribution, once the court determines which property is marital and which is separate, it assigns values to the marital assets and then divides it equally unless special circumstances call for a different division.

Factors justifying unequal distribution can include the economic footing of each spouse, what contributions they made to the marriage (including sacrifices that they made for the other spouse), how long they were married, whether either spouse wasted assets after the divorce papers were filed, and how selling the marital home would impact children of the marriage.

who gets the house in a florida divorce?

Equitable Division of a House in Florida

If one spouse bought their home and paid it off before the marriage, it may be separate property that the purchasing spouse keeps. However, if the other spouse made payments toward the house or was added to the title, the house may be subject to equitable distribution, which may or may not be a 50/50 division depending on the circumstances.

If the house is to be divided, one spouse (often the primary caregiver if the couple has children) will stay in the home while the other spouse receives other property to balance the division. One spouse may agree to buy out the other spouse’s interest in the house or they may sell it and split the proceeds. It is a good idea to consult with legal or real estate professionals to ensure that title, mortgage, and other issues are accounted for in any transactions.

Speak with a Stuart Divorce Lawyer

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Travis R. Walker, P.A. offer a combined 125+ years of experience representing individuals, families, and businesses in their personal and work-related legal matters. We serve the Treasure Coat, offering sound advice and strong representation for those going through a divorce. Contact us today or at your convenience to schedule a confidential consultation to find out how we can help you.

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