Homestead Protection of Jointly Owned House

I received an email from someone who wanted to know if he could claim Florida ¬†homestead protection on a house he owned jointly with his parents. The questioner faced a potential judgment. The questioner and the parents lived together in this house. Florida homestead is not limited to one owner per property. All people who jointly own and also reside in a primary residence have homestead protection and no creditor of either of the co-owners and co-residents can force a sale of the property. If the questioner became a judgment debtor his interest in the residence and his parents’ interest would be protected from forced sale.

If, on the other hand, the questioner/debtor was a co-owner but resided elsewhere his interest in the property owned with his parents would not be protected. His creditors could still not force a sale of the house if his house was his parents’ homestead residence. If all three co-owners voluntarily sold the house his parents’ share of the equity would be protected as their homestead interest, but creditors might have a lien on the debtor child’s share of equity