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Who gets the house after the divorce is final?

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2021 | Family Law

During a marriage, the couple often acquires a large number of assets. If the couple decides to divorce, they should divide those assets in a way that meets guidelines of fairness under Florida law. Some marital assets are more significant than others and who gets what is not always clear. If they own a house, they will decide who gets the house or sell it and divide the proceeds.

Property division in a divorce does not have to be painful

When it comes to dividing an asset, especially something as significant as a house, it should be divided carefully. This is where an attorney who has experience with divorce and property division can really help to ensure that the process goes as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

Florida divorce law follows a model known as “equitable distribution.” With equitable distribution, a judge will decide what is fair, following state guidelines. The judge will not necessarily divide the assets evenly. In will depend on certain factors, including which spouse earns more money.

Marital property versus separate property

There are distinctions among the different types of property and they are treated differently in a divorce.

  • Community property: Joint property that the couple acquired while they were married. Debts can also be considered community property but only if they are not designated to a specific person.
  • Separate property: Property that one person acquired before the marriage, including gifts, inheritance, and pension. However, separate property may become community property under certain circumstances.
  • Comingled property: A combination of community and separate property. Often, the court will consider comingled property as community property.

Property division is rarely simple

The answer to who gets the house may depend on several factors, including who raises the child, if a child is involved. If there are no children, one person usually does not have more right to the house than the other. Depending on the judge, the decision may be unpredictable and could go either way.

To avoid this uncertainty, most divorcing couples reach a settlement out of court. When dividing a home, they may choose to have one party buy out the other’s share, or they may decide to sell the home and divide the proceeds. Both methods have their own complications and require careful consideration.