A caller asked whether Florida’s homestead protection protected against suit for failure to perform under contract to sell the house to a third party. The caller while unmarried had owned a homestead property in is own name. Subsequently, he decided to sell the homestead and get married. He entered into a contract to sell. A month later he got married and his spouse moved into the house as her permanent residence. Thereafter, he and his wife realized that the house was worth more money than the contract price so they decided to default under the husband’s sale contract. They want to know if the buyer can get a judgment of specific performance to force sale of the house when the house is now homestead of the wife who was not party to the sales contract.
There are a few cases in this area which hold that the wife is bound by the terms of a pre-marital contract for sale. Essentially, the wife moved into the house subject to an already binding sale contract, and therefore, she cannot assert new homestead rights to defeat the husband’s prior contract. I think the buyers would win a specific performance lawsuit.