In Florida, property owned by a married couple is presumed to be owned as a Tenancy by the Entirety.
Tenancy by the entirety is a type of joint husband and wife ownership of property that safeguards property from creditors of either spouse, but not from a joint creditor of both spouses. Florida is one of the few states that recognizes tenancy by the entirety.
The concept of tenancy by the entirety is crucial in determining whether a married couple should file a joint bankruptcy or file separate bankruptcies. We will discuss this and all other relevant considerations when determining whether it is appropriate for you to consider filing chapter 13 bankruptcy in Miami.
What it means in Florida
Tenants by the entirety is a legal form of property ownership available only to a married couple.
One of the benefits of tenancy by the entirety ownership is survivorship, meaning that if one spouse passes away, the other spouse automatically retains ownership of the property without having to go through probate.
Aside from real estate, spouses can also own personal property as a tenancy by the entirety. But remember, tenancy by the entirety cannot be used to own property with anyone other than a legal spouse.
Florida’s “Tenancy by the Entirety’’ Requirements
In Florida, tenancy by entirety can be established if the following conditions are met:
- Time: Ownership of the asset must have started at the same time.
- Title: Both spouses must derive title from the same document.
- Interest: Both spouses’ interest in the property must be identical.
- Possession: Both spouses must possess the property equally
- Marriage: The spouses were married at the time they took title and have remained continuously married ever since.
Advantages of Tenancy by the Entirety
Tenancy by the entirety provides married couples in Florida additional security against financial hardship. Since the property is owned jointly by the couple, it is immune from the claims of any creditor that is a creditor of just one spouse or the other. Tenancy by the entirety also aids a surviving spouse in avoiding the time-consuming and resource-draining court process of probate.
Tenants in Common vs. Tenants by the Entirety
“Tenancy in Common” is the term used to describe a situation in which two or more people share joint ownership of a piece of property. A creditor of one tenant in common can levy on that co-owner’s interest in the property and potentially force a sale of the entire property even though the co-owners were not obligated on the debt.
Work with an Experienced Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer
The Bankruptcy Law Offices of James Schwitalla, P.A. has helped clients reclaim control of their financial lives and find relief from overwhelming debt. From the free consultation to the entry of the final discharge of your debts, we are dedicated to offering individualized solutions and outstanding service.
We have assisted clients in recovering from their debt problems by filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Our team will help you understand your rights, and provide you a suitable relief strategy according to your needs and situation.
Stay on top of your bills without worrying about losing your assets. Contact us to schedule an appointment.