Protecting Your Family's Future

Will I Have to Sell My House after a Divorce?

Do You Have to Sell Your House as Part of a Divorce in Texas?

Texas is a community property state. Under the community property laws, all items obtained during the marriage, with limited exceptions (such as inheritance), must be divided equally between the parties. How does that apply to the family home? Obviously, you can’t divide the real estate, with one spouse living in one half of the home and one spouse in the other. Do you have to simply sell the property and split the proceeds?

Your Options with Respect to Real Property in a Divorce in Texas

While you may ultimately have to sell the property, it is not required under Texas law. If one spouse can afford to keep the home and meet its payment obligations, the other spouse can sign title to the property over to the first spouse. The best way to do this is to refinance the home in the new owner’s name. If you are unable to obtain refinancing, you can execute a warranty deed and deed of trust allowing one party to assume ownership the house. This allows an added measure of protection, as both parties remain on the note and, if the party residing in the home fails to keep the mortgage current, the other spouse can foreclose and assume ownership.

If you choose to transfer ownership to one spouse, you want to pay close attention to the value of that transaction, as it can be offset against the division of remaining marital property. For example, if there’s $100,000 of equity in the home, you should expect to have a $50,000 offset against other personal items, investments, financial accounts or business interests.

If neither of you can afford to keep the home, the best alternative is to sell it and split the proceeds. Another option is to do nothing, but allow one party to remain in the home until the real estate market improves. This can be a complicated maneuver, though, and you need to be very clear about when the property might be sold.

Questions About Will I Have to Sell My House after a Divorce? Custody, Divorce, and Family Law Attorney, Baytown, Texas

Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, provides legal counsel to parents involved in relocation issues, child support and custody matters, divorce, and other family law cases. If you have questions about how to stop your ex from moving away with your child, or other custody, divorce, or family law matters, we can give you advice that will help you decide how to proceed. For an initial assessment and consultation, contact our family law firm online or call our office at (281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

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