Divorce is generally an emotionally painful experience even when both spouses agree a divorce is in their best interest. They both may have a list of questions. At the top of that list is often: “Who gets the house?” It is not an easy answer, but at Springer & Lyle, we do our best to help you understand your options. All options require an appraisal of the property to determine its monetary value.
Selling the House
Texas is a community property state which means that any asset spouses accumulate during their marriage belongs equally to each spouse. Bank accounts are easily divided. Assets like real estate are not so easily dividable.
The easiest solution is to sell the house and divide the proceeds. This works if neither party is attached to the house and has no desire to keep it. If one spouse really wants the house, that spouse may consider buying out the other spouse’s interest.
One Spouse Purchases the Other Spouse’s Interest
One spouse may want to stay in the family home. If so, the buying spouse should consider:
- The house will need to be refinanced and the loan and deed placed in the buyer spouse’s name. Will that spouse be able to afford the mortgage payment, insurance, and property taxes?
- Can the buying spouse qualify for a loan on their own credit and financial record?
- Does the current mortgage holder have any process for making it easier for a buying spouse to get a new loan?
- Can the buying spouse also afford to pay for the upkeep of the home?
The spouse who wants to keep the home should also consider:
- Why is there such an emotional need to stay in the house?
- Are there other houses that could meet their needs and give them a fresh start?
- Is the spouse prepared to take on this financial burden alone?
Division of Other Assets to Offset the Value of the House
The value of all assets needs to be determined. Then trade-offs can be effectuated. The party keeping the house gives up his or her interest in other assets so that the value of each spouse’s share of the community property is equal.
Contact a Divorce Attorney for Assistance
In some situations, both spouses want the house. They may become involved in litigation over that issue. For answers to dividing the house during the divorce, and for assistance in answering all your family law questions, contact attorney Daniel Abasolo at Springer & Lyle. You may also call him at 940-387-0404 to schedule a consultation.