08 Jun Who Keeps the House in a Miami, Florida Divorce Proceeding?
Who Keeps the House in a Divorce?
In Florida, with only a few exceptions, assets purchased during the marriage by the married couple are considered marital property. This includes the family home, which is often the marital asset with the greatest value. It may be the one tangible asset each party wants to keep. The question, “Who keeps the house?” can be answered simply. “It all depends.” When it comes to dividing property in a divorce, Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means the court adds up all the marital assets and distributes them in an equitable way. Equitable does not mean equal, only that the distribution has to be fair. There are several ways the court can fashion an order as to who gets to keep the house. If none of the options works, the court will consider a number of factors in making its final decision.
Exclusive possession with distribution deferred
Often, when there are minor children, the court may give exclusive possession to the party who will have physical custody of the children. This allows the custodial parent to remain in the family home with the children. When the youngest child reaches the age of 18, the home may then be sold and the proceeds divided. Other contingencies may be imposed, such as remarriage of the ex-spouse who is living in the home. Meanwhile, the spouse who is not in the home may be ordered to contribute financially to the mortgage, taxes and upkeep.
One party buys out the interest of the other
If one party wants to stay in the house and the other does not, the staying spouse can buy out the interest of the other. If this financially possible, this is a good solution.
The home can be sold and profits divided
If neither party wants to stay in the home, it can be put on the market. When it sells, the proceeds can be divided between the parties in a manner determined by the court to be equitable.
The home may be awarded to one spouse as part of the equitable distribution
When none of the other solutions are viable, the court will look at many factors in ultimately deciding who gets the house under the equitable distribution requirements.
Some of those factors are:
- The length of the marriage.
- Assets and income of each spouse.
- Other assets that can be awarded to one spouse to offset the value of the family home.
- The source of the funds for the home.
- The contribution of each spouse to the marriage throughout the years.
- The age and health of each spouse.
- The earning capacity of each spouse.
- Whether there are minor children.
- Whether any misconduct of either spouse caused wasting of economic resources.
- Any other factor the court deems relevant.
Free Divorce Consultations
A Miami, Florida divorce attorney will review your entire portfolio of assets and liabilities and assist you in determining how to proceed. As always, if you have any questions regarding the role of mediation in Miami, Florida divorces or the Divorce process in general, give us a call at +1.786.309.8588 for a Free Consultation. If we can’t help, we will try to help you find someone that can.