Florida’s Homestead Law Protects Spouses and Minor Children

This is our second blog in a series of three discussing Florida’s homestead laws. Florida provides broad protection for homeowners of a primary residence in the state. The three general types of homestead protections are:

  • The homestead tax exemption;
  • Protection for spouses against the sale of the homestead without their joinder and protection for spouses and minor children against the devise of the homestead upon death in a will; and
  • Exemption from forced sale before and at death to meet the demands of creditors.

This post focuses on the protection provided to spouses and minor children and applies to homes resided in as primary residences in Florida. As to spouses, even if the homestead property is titled in only one spouse’s name, that spouse cannot sell the property without the other spouse signing, or “joining in” on, the deed. Any attempt by the spouse in title to sell homestead property without the consent, or “joinder”, of the non-owner spouse will be invalid. In addition, a spouse in title cannot borrow money and secure it by placing a mortgage or lien on the homestead property without the joinder of the other spouse.

Furthermore, if a spouse in title dies and is survived by a spouse and/or minor children, Florida’s homestead laws prevent the homestead property from being transferred to anyone but the spouse and minor children. This protects the surviving spouse and minor children from being left with nothing if the deceased spouse was the breadwinner.

This article presents only the most basic information concerning Florida’s homestead protection for spouses and minor children and is not meant to address all the nuances. There are many additional aspects and benefits concerning Florida’s homestead laws which a good Florida attorney can help you with.  For answers to your questions or help planning, contact Mackey Law Group.

By: T.R Smith, Esq.