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What happens to a marital home in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Family Law

Florida, with its sunny beaches and relaxed atmosphere, is a popular destination for couples to build a life together. What happens if that life takes an unexpected turn and divorce becomes a reality?

One of the biggest issues divorcing couples in the Sunshine State face is the fate of their marital home. By exploring the legalities surrounding the role of a marital home in a Florida divorce and understanding the state’s equitable distribution laws, divorcing couples can better understand and navigate the various options available to them.

Equitable distribution: Dividing assets fairly

Unlike community property states where marital assets are automatically split 50/50, the Sunshine State operates under an equitable distribution system. This means the court will divide marital assets, including the house, in a way deemed fair by the judge.

Once the marital status of the house is established, the judge will consider various factors to determine a fair division. Some key considerations include:

  • Length of the marriage: Longer marriages may weigh towards a more equal split.
  • Financial contributions: Who made down payments, mortgage payments and improvements during the marriage?
  • Child custody: If there are minor children, the court might prioritize keeping them in the family home to minimize disruption.
  • The spouse’s ability to maintain the property: Can one spouse afford the upkeep and mortgage payments on their own?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the house in a Florida divorce. Selling the house can be a clean break, providing both spouses with their share of the equity. One spouse can buy out the other spouse’s interest in the house, allowing them to remain in the home. One spouse can also keep the house, while the other receives other marital assets of equal value.

Navigating the division of ownership interests in a house during divorce can be a complex undertaking. By understanding the concept of equitable distribution, the factors judges consider and the available options, couples can approach the situation with greater clarity. Remember, communication and seeking legal guidance are essential steps toward achieving a fair and amicable resolution.