A man is going through a divorce proceeding in California. The man and his wife sell their California house. The husband takes all the sales proceeds and gives his wife other assets including his retirement account. The husband then moves to Florida and buys a homestead property with the proceeds from the sale of the California house.The man becomes a Florida resident. At the end of the divorce proceeding the judge orders the man to pay additional money to his ex-wife from the house sale proceeds now invested in the Florida homestead. The man asked whether his homestead is protected from the order of the California divorce court.
Florida’s homestead laws offer broad creditor protection, but there are some exceptions. Florida courts have permitted partition (forced sale) of homestead in divorce proceedings to effect an equitable distribution of assets. If the wife domesticated the California divorce order in Florida, I suspect a Florida court may order the sale of the husband’s homestead to give the wife her share of the house equity as determined in California.
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