Splitting up your assets is commonly a source of contention in a divorce. Spouses rarely agree on who should get what. The more valuable an asset is, the more likely you are to both want to lay claim to it. One of the assets most commonly fought over in divorce is the marital home.
The house that you lived in during your marriage likely represents the biggest single purchase and largest asset you share with your spouse. It is common for people to want to retain the home after the divorce. Depending on circumstances, that may or may not be possible. Learning more about how Texas divides property can help you determine the likelihood of retaining the home in your divorce.
Texas is a community property state
Every state has its own approach to splitting up assets and debts in divorce. Texas is a community property state. This typically means that the courts will divide all assets and debts you acquired during the marriage. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement, your house is probably subject to division.
Obviously, unlike a bank account, the courts can’t just split your house in half. Instead, they typically split the equity or offset the value of the home with other assets. In most cases, the courts award the home to one spouse. However, they can also order the divorcing couple to sell the home in some situations.
Many factors will influence how the courts handle your home
There are many considerations that will go into the court’s decision regarding possession of the marital home. One of the more important factors will be whether you have children and who has primary custody of those children. The courts may prioritize keeping the children in the familial home, provided that the income of the custodial parent combined with child support allows that individual to obtain financing.
The courts will also consider personal attachment if the home was handed down through a family or other factors in their decision. If neither you nor your spouse have the ability to secure financing for the property on your own, the courts may order you to sell it. In some cases, the courts may award the home to the spouse who is able to pay for it and maintain the home.
In that scenario, the spouse who doesn’t receive the home should expect to receive a share of the equity in the home. Often, this equity comes from refinancing the property. One spouse receives financial compensation or other valuable assets, and his or her name gets taken off the deed for the property.
If you hope to retain the home in your Texas divorce, you should carefully review your financial situation and begin strategizing for your divorce now.