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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 38906
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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My husband and I are getting divorced. We are presently Chapter

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My husband and I are getting divorced. We are presently Chapter 13 for the second time. We own the condo, but after the sale we plan to divide the proceeds in half. How long can both of us keep the proceeds before buying another homestead? Can I keep any part of the proceeds from the sale for my living expenses, since I am unemployed? Thank you

The Supreme Court of Florida addressed this precise question in the case of Orange Brevard Plumbing & Heating Co. v. La Croix,137 So.2d 201 (1962). After a lengthy examination of the law of other jurisdictions and in recognition of the policy behind the homestead provision of the Florida Constitution, the Court held that the proceeds of a voluntary sale of a homestead are exempt from claims of creditors as is the homestead itself ". . . if, and only if, the vendor shows by a preponderance of the evidence an abiding good faith intention prior to and at the time of the sale of the homestead to reinvest the proceeds thereof within a reasonable time." (emphasis supplied) Orange Brevard Plumbing and Heating Co. v. La Croix, supra. The Court also held that only that portion of the proceeds which are intended to be reinvested are exempt and those proceeds which are earmarked for reinvestment must be segregated from other funds of the seller. Orange Brevard, supra at 206.

As you can see, there is no particular time period during which the proceeds from the homestead sale remain exempt. It's up to you to demonstrate to the court, if a creditor attempts to reach your homestead assets, that you have a good faith intent to purchase a new homestead within a reasonable time.

Hope this helps.
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