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Who Gets the Home?

In most cases, a divorcing couple considers their marital home to be their biggest asset - and the marital home continues to be one issue that is often contested. So how does a Florida divorce judge decide who gets to keep the home?

What is Best for the Children?

When deciding on which spouse is to keep the marital home, one factor to take into consideration is the children and what is best for them. Generally, the custodial parent is awarded the exclusive possession and use of the marital home, at least until the children become emancipated.

Who Left the Marital Home First?

Often when the couple can afford to do so, one spouse leaves the marital home and stays elsewhere. This scenario can create the impression that the spouse who has moved out does not want the marital home, and that he or she is financially capable to help pay the mortgage on the marital home and the rent for his or her new home.

If, however, there is animosity between the two parties and the environment is unhealthy for the rest of the family, then the wisest decision would be for one spouse to leave the marital home.

What if Both Parties Cannot Afford the Marital Home?

It does happen that neither party can afford to keep and maintain the marital home. When the home seems more like a liability than an asset, here are two of the options to be considered:

  • Sell the marital home, and then split any negative equity.
  • Assign both the marital home and its mortgage to one spouse, while all other assets and liabilities are assigned to the other spouse.

Conclusion

There is no clear-cut rule as to who gets the marital home. The decision is based on factors such as the parent with primary custody of the children, the financial interest of both parties, and perhaps even who continues to live in the home throughout the divorce process.


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When the Florida court decides on the issue of child custody and visitation, the gender of the parents is not considered. For example, a mother will not automatically receive custody of the children just because she is the mother. The judge must only consider what is in the best interests of the child. Florida divorce law requires Shared Parental Responsibility. This means that even though the child may live with one parent, the other parent has equal say in raising the child. Each party must be consulted on the education, health, religion, and discipline of the child. And, if the parties cannot agree on these important issues, the judge will make the decisions.
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