Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

In the majority of Texas divorces, the house is the largest asset to apportion. It can also be the most difficult asset to divide, as property decisions can be extremely emotional and have a significant financial impact. This house has sheltered and protected your family and you may want to hold on to the property. There may also be negative emotions associated with the home and all parties involved may want to sell the house to start fresh in a new home. There are multiple options with which the parties can resolve a house in a divorce. In considering the value of the home, make sure to include the dollars spent on purchasing the house and the value of the indoor and outdoor home furnishings. The sooner you start discussing plans for the house, the better. Your divorce attorney can help you through this process, along with a reputable Texas real estate agent.

Texas is a community property state, which means the property acquired by both partners during the marriage belongs to the community estate and is subject to being divided when the couple decides to get a divorce. Because a house is physical property that cannot be divided into two even living spaces, the court will have to take into account which spouse is more financially capable of taking on the payments for the house on their own as well as which spouse will have primary or full custody of any children of the marriage. If possible, the court usually prefers that the children remain in the family home to minimize disruption to their lives.

For one ex-spouse to keep the house and for the children to remain living there, that spouse would have to take on all payments for the house after the divorce is finalized. This can make it significantly easier on any children involved, as well as that spouse, since they will remain in their same home, in the same community, in proximity to family, friends, work, and more. This does mean, however, that the spouse who is keeping the family home will have to buy out their ex-partner and refinance the mortgage to that a loan can be created in their name only. The home’s existing equity must also be taken into account. For example, if $100,000 is still owed on the mortgage and the home is able to be sold for $400,000, there will be approximately $300,000 in equity available to both parties, or $150,000 apiece. One way to resolve this is for the party keeping the home to take out a loan to pay their half of the equity owed to their ex-spouse. This process, while complicated, does allow one spouse to stay in the current family home. Many couples often fight over who will get the house and the court has to get involved to determine the best suited party. If the parties cannot come to an agreement or neither wants to stay in the home, both parties can choose to sell the house.

If selling the house is the best options for the family, there could be a great payout for both parties. The value of the home may have increased over time and it could be sold for a great price. Today’s real estate market favors sellers, as home inventory is low and there are a good number of hopeful buyers. Speaking with an experienced real estate agent regarding the best selling price will help move the house quickly. The money from the sale of the home will be split amongst the two parties according to the court’s order or the parties’ own agreement. This is very common among older parties going through a divorce that do not have children living at home or never had children in the first place. The downside of selling the house usually revolves around the children in the family. Many children want to stay in their current home to be close to their friends and school. Discussing such a big move with younger children can be difficult as they are already having to deal with their parents divorcing. Bringing in an experienced  family therapist to talk about these big changes can be incredibly helpful in transitioning the children to a new house. Some couples choose to sell their house if they find that neither spouse is able to pay for the mortgage payments on their own once the divorce is finalized.

Divorce is not an easy process and can be incredibly complex and emotional. Bringing the family home into the picture can further complicate things unless you have an experienced   on your side. Some spouses cannot even stand to be in the same room, much less negotiating over who gets the family home. Your attorney will be able to communicate with your ex-spouse’s legal counsel to come to an agreement over either keeping or selling the house, and how funds will be distributed as a result. Even if you have moved out of the house temporarily while the divorce is being processed, that does not mean you are giving up your rights to your house. A judge will take many factors into consideration when deciding the fate of the family home.

Brazoria County Divorce Lawyers

Terry & Roberts’ Brazoria County divorce lawyers will work with you to keep your family home or sell it to start over fresh. When choosing representation, it is crucial to select a lawyer or law firm with extensive knowledge of Texas divorce law. Our Brazoria County divorce lawyers have extensive experience helping our clients find the best solution for their family home. For clear, caring, and practical legal guidance to enable you to do what’s best for your family, contact us today.

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