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Paul E. Riffel Tampa Estate Planning Attorney

What happens to your home in a divorce?

Marital homes are usually one of the largest assets, and this is a problematic one since it is not a divisible asset like a pension or checking account. The court has the power to award one spouse exclusive use and possession of the marital home. This generally happens if the primary caretaker of the children wishes to stay in the home for stability and continuity for the children. However, if that is not financially feasible, the court will generally order the home to be sold and the proceeds divided between the parties.

One other big problem with regard to the home is the fact that the court is without power to absolve either party from the mortgage debt. Therefore, if the home is awarded to the husband and he is ordered 
to hold the wife harmless on a mortgage debt, that particular provision is not enforceable against the bank. This means that the wife would still be liable for that debt, regardless of what the Final Judgment says.

Therefore, it is usually in the best interest of the parties to sell the home and split the proceeds so as to satisfy the debt and give each party money to relocate. Please note that simply leaving the home during a divorce action does not mean you abandon that home and
give that home to the other spouse. You still have a 50 percent interest in the home regardless of where you move to.

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