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What happens with the house when we divorce?

| Dec 15, 2017 | Property Division |

When a husband or wife first receive divorce papers from their spouse, one of the first things that runs though their mind is what will happen with their home. In a state like Florida, where equitable distribution is king, the judge will generally split up property in a way that he or she deems fair or equitable.

In an effort to be both equitable and fair, a judge may decide to award two-thirds of ownership rights of the home to the higher income-generating spouse. In contrast, he or she may decide to award the other spouse as little as one-third ownership stake in it.

Aside from the aforementioned, also important to determining which spouse gets the house in a divorce is whether the property was acquired during the marriage or prior to it.

If it was acquired beforehand, then it’s likely considered separate property. However, if funds accumulated before a marriage are later used to pay for the marital home, then this is considered comingling of assets. Under this scenario, even though the funds for the home were yours alone coming into the marriage, when they were added to a joint account to buy the marital home, they likely became both of yours. Any property acquired once the marriage occurs is considered to be community property.

Who ultimately will get to keep the home will thus depend on a number of factors. If you two share kids, then oftentimes, the judge airs of the side of giving the marital home to the kid’s primary custodian. If there aren’t any kids, though, and it can be shown that one spouse paid for the home with their own funds, then likely the judge will rule in the owning spouse’s favor.

If both of your contributed to the purchase of the home, yet the two of you are unable to agree as to who will leave, then a judge can be asked to step in and preside over the matter. In seeking out the counsel of a Ft. Myers, Florida, attorney, he or she may be able to advise you of other legal remedies available outside of the courtoom for resolving your divorce case as well.

Source: FindLaw, “Divorce property division FAQ,” accessed Dec. 15, 2017

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