Legalities and the marital home in child custody and divorce

For some parents in Sarasota, a child custody dispute can be lengthy and emotionally draining. While Florida encourages parents to share custody equally, there may be some situations where parents are not able to agree on where the children should live, who should make important decisions or what is in the best interests of the child. A fight over child custody can easily escalate into a number of accusations being made by one parent against the other such as child abandonment, lack of financial support and control over the marital home.

The marital home is an asset that may or may not play a pivotal role in a divorce and child custody case. Many people may be loath to leave the marital home because it may be perceived as abandonment, especially if their children live there. While the marital home is generally considered marital property, when a spouse moves out, the other spouse may assume full control even though it legally isn’t just their property.

Therefore, it may be a good idea for spouses to come to a written agreement about the home before one moves out of it. Spouses should agree on how the home will be used, what financial support will be provided, whether the spouse living outside the home should have access to it and that their absence in the home will have no impact on any child custody decisions. In such matters, a spouse may find it advantageous to speak with an experienced attorney to make sure their rights are protected in relation to the marital home and their children.

Source: Forbes, “Should You Move Out Of The Marital Home? Learn From Divorce Attorneys, Not The Tabloids,” Jeff Landers, June 11, 2013

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