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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:
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.
A spouse who does not make timely support payments can have his or her wages garnished through the Florida Child Support Enforcement Department. The court orders that alimony be automatically taken from the paying spouse's paycheck. The court can also order that the paying spouse give the alimony payments to the Support Enforcement Department, which will give the money to the receiving spouse. The department acts as a third party which manages the collection and distribution of support payments on a statewide basis. If the paying spouse of child support or alimony fails to make timely and sufficient payments, the court can suspend the paying spouse's driver's license.
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