There are a number of different considerations to make when you are thinking about filing for divorce in Tampa. One of the most important is deciding who will continue living in the house you share with your spouse. In divorce terms, this is known as the “marital home” and is a key part of any divorce proceeding.
Deciding whether or not you will continue living in the house, or what will be done with it–especially if it has sentimental value or your children still live there–can be stressful. That’s why it’s important to know how things like the house is divided in a Tampa divorce and how you can protect your interests.
How is Your House Classified in a Tampa Divorce?
When it comes to your house, how it will be classified by the judge in a Tampa divorce depends on how and when it was bought. Generally speaking, if the house was bought after the marriage began, it will be considered marital property. However, if the house was acquired by one spouse before the marriage or through an inheritance or gift specifically to one spouse, it may be classified as non-marital property.
How Are Assets Divided in a Tampa Divorce?
In terms of division, Florida law follows an “equitable distribution” model when it comes to marital property. This means that marital assets are divided in a way that is considered fair, but not necessarily equal. The court takes into consideration several factors when deciding who gets to keep assets like the house:
- Length of the marriage – The duration of the marriage is taken into account when dividing assets.
- Earning capacity – The present and future earning potential of each spouse is considered in the asset division process.
- Property ownership and acquisition – The property owned by both spouses and how it was acquired are factors that influence how assets are divided.
- Asset misuse or financial misconduct – If there has been any squandering of assets or financial wrongdoing, it can impact the division of assets.
- Family ties and obligations – The court considers the family connections and responsibilities of each spouse when dividing assets.
- Tax implications – The potential tax consequences for each party are taken into consideration during asset division.
These factors help the court determine a fair and equitable division of marital assets based on the unique circumstances of the marriage. It’s important to understand how these factors may impact the division of assets and to consult with a divorce attorney for guidance and protection of your interests during the process.
How Does the Court Decide Who Gets to Keep the House in a Tampa Divorce?
As it relates specifically to your house, the judge may factor in other specific circumstances when deciding who gets ownership of it, like:
- Child custody – If one spouse is granted primary custody of the children, it may be beneficial to keep them in the family home to maintain stability and continuity.
- Affordability – It’s important to assess whether either spouse can afford to maintain the house independently after the divorce. This includes considering mortgage payments, utilities, and other related expenses.
- Current home expenses – The spouse who is currently responsible for paying the home expenses during the divorce proceedings may have an influence on the decision regarding the house.
If you end up with the house, you will likely be responsible for any outstanding mortgages on it. Alternatively, the court may order the sale of the house, and the proceeds will be divided accordingly. The amount you receive from the sale will depend on various factors, such as:
- The availability of other assets
- Your contributions to the home (such as repairs or improvements)
- How you financed the mortgage or down payment
It’s important to note that the division of marital property is highly dependent on the specific circumstances of the family, the financial situation of each spouse, and their personal and professional lives. Each case is unique, and the court considers these factors when determining who gets the house and how marital property is divided.
Can You Work With Your Spouse to Divide Assets in a Tampa Divorce?
Once divorce proceedings get underway, there is a variety of different ways you can work with your spouse to take care of issues like asset division. At the same time, some relationships are such that it’s not possible to work together. Those situations are usually referred to as contested divorce. On the other hand, when you and your spouse decide to work together, it’s known as an uncontested divorce.
- Contested divorce – In a contested divorce, you and your spouse disagree on significant matters such as who gets the house or custody of the children, it’s often up to attorneys and a judge to decide these issues. Thus, if you want to keep your house, but your spouse doesn’t want to give it up, you’re likely facing a contested divorce and you’ll need to provide evidence as to why you believe you should be able to keep the house.
- Uncontested divorce – An uncontested divorce occurs when both you and your spouse are in agreement on the major issues of the divorce. Often, you can reach an agreement on your own without requiring legal representation. However, even in an uncontested divorce, it is necessary to officially file the required documents to make the divorce legally valid. Then, you can work with your spouse to decide who gets to keep the house and what can be done with it.
Get Serious About a Divorce in Tampa
If you’re getting a divorce in Florida, it’s important to protect your rights, especially when it comes to things like your house. At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our experienced Tampa divorce lawyers can help make sure you’re treated fairly. We understand the unique aspects of each divorce case and have extensive knowledge of Florida laws and the court system’s approach to asset division.
We’re serious about helping our clients in a Tampa divorce. Contact us today for a consultation.