Who Gets The Vacation Home In A Florida Divorce?
The division of property is arguably the most contentious and time-consuming issue in a Florida divorce. Many divorcing spouses want to get a larger share of the marital assets to leave their spouse with very little.
The marital home is usually a sticky point during a divorce because it is the most valuable asset for most couples. But many couples in Florida also own the so-called vacation home.
A vacation home is a secondary dwelling used mainly for recreational purposes on vacations and holidays. If you and your spouse purchased a vacation home during the marriage, the home is most likely subject to equitable distribution.
For this reason, you may wonder, “Who gets the vacation home in a divorce?” It is advisable to speak with a knowledgeable property distribution attorney in Orlando to discuss your particular case and determine how the marital and vacation homes and other property will be split during your divorce.
How Having a Vacation Home Could Complicate Your Divorce Case
In divorces where the couple owns a vacation home, the property division process can get complicated. That’s because, in most cases, vacation homes are high-value properties, and neither spouse wants to lose the property used for recreational purposes.
Generally, it is up to the couple to decide who gets the vacation home and other marital assets in a divorce. However, when the spouses cannot reach an agreement amicably, they may have to go to court to let the judge decide for them.
However, before taking your divorce case to trial, it is advisable to hire a skilled property distribution attorney to help you negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement.
How Do Florida Courts Divide a Vacation Home in a Divorce?
Florida is an equitable distribution state that requires marital assets to be divided between the divorcing spouses in a fair and just manner. It means that your vacation home and other marital property may not be subject to a 50/50 split.
Note: Separate property remains the sole property of the spouse to whom it belongs.
For this reason, it is vital to determine whether the vacation home and other assets are considered marital or separate property. Under Florida law, a vacation home may be considered separate property if the home was:
- Acquired by only one spouse before the marriage;
- Received as a gift or inheritance before or during the marriage;
- Given the status of a “separate property” in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement signed between the spouses; or
- Purchased or exchanged with other separate property.
What if the Vacation Home is Subject to Florida’s Equitable Distribution Law?
If the vacation home does not meet the above-mentioned criteria to be considered separate property, it will most likely be subject to equitable distribution upon divorce.
When deciding how to divide property between the spouses, Florida courts consider the following factors:
- The length of the marriage;
- Each spouse’s separate property;
- Each spouse’s financial resources and employment;
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage and acquiring marital funds;
- Whether any of the spouses sacrificed their career;
- Whether any spouse is guilty of wasteful dissipation of marital assets; and
- Debts assigned to either spouse.
Talk to an experienced Orlando property distribution attorney to determine who will get the vacation home in your divorce. Schedule a consultation with our results-driven attorney at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., to discuss your case. Call 407-521-7171.