Who gets to keep the house in a Florida divorce?

People typically have a lot of questions when they think about a potential divorce. Most everyone has heard horror stories from co-workers or people they know online. That can make someone who would likely benefit from ending a marriage hesitate about moving forward with a divorce. The truth is that divorce is complicated, and the outcome of each divorce is as unique as the couple obtaining it. There is no sure answer to how the courts will handle any aspect of your divorce.

One common concern is worrying about what will happen to the marital home in the event of a divorce. Will the courts allow you to live there, or will your spouse keep the home? After all, your home is a major investment, and it's only natural to worry about losing it. While there is no certain answer to this critical question, informing yourself about Florida laws can help you understand the most likely outcomes.

Florida courts focus on equitable distribution in divorces

When Florida family courts have to determine how to divide assets from a divorcing couple, they must seek a resolution that is fair and equitable. That doesn't necessarily mean a 50/50 split. Instead, it involves carefully reviewing many factors from the marriage to see what is fair to everyone involved.

The courts will consider how long the marriage lasted, contributions of each spouse to the marriage, including non-paid contributions in the form of caring for the home or any children, the current economic circumstances of each spouse and the custody arrangements for any minor children. All of these can impact how the courts ultimately decide to split up your possessions and debts.

Child custody can factor into the allocation of the home

If one spouse has received sole parental responsibility of the children, that could impact how the courts handle the marital home. In general, the courts strive to work in the best interests of the children involved in a divorce, which typically means minimizing the upheaval and changes they experience.

Staying in the home where they have lived their whole lives and remaining in the same school district can help their lives stay stable. The courts will usually expect the parent retaining the home to refinance the property to remove the other spouse from both the mortgage note and the deed to the property.

However, if the custodial parent has limited income or mediocre credit, he or she may not qualify for financing without a spouse. In that scenario, the courts could either award the home to the other spouse or order its sale. Generally speaking, regardless of who retains the home, each spouse will receive a reasonable share of the accumulated equity in the property or assets of comparable value.