Texas property division: Which spouse gets the house?

On behalf of Loughmiller Higgins, Attorneys at Law posted in Family Law on Wednesday, August 22, 2012.

One of the most common questions in property division is the question of who gets the house. Unfortunately, as many Texas divorcing couples are keenly aware of, this is also one of the most difficult questions to face. While some spouses are more than happy to leave their houses that they shared with their spouse, many times, spouses are reluctant to have to part with the home. In this case, the property division issue may have to be approached very carefully so that both parties can achieve an equitable settlement.

There are many reasons why it can be so hard for spouses to have to leave their houses. One of the most common reasons is that there is a strong emotional connection with the house — the house was transformed from a mere piece of real estate into a home. Many times, there are strong memories associated with the house that many spouses, even as they are divorcing, are reluctant to part with. Furthermore, even though there are many beautiful properties available for sale in Texas, it can be hard to replace the property that each spouse has learned to appreciate.

As couples divorce, they may consider several issues when determining who gets the house. One issue that they may consider is whether one spouse can afford the property payments of the house. Similarly, because Texas is a community property state, the parties will have to divide the value of their property equally between each other. In taking the house, they may have to sacrifice other property that they would rather have kept instead.

Property division can be difficult, especially in Texas. However, by backing away from sentimentality and instead looking ahead at future consequences of a financial decision, spouses can avoid typical pitfalls of divorce. In this way, they may be better off planning their future lives. The right advice could go a long ways toward helping each party reach a settlement that is fair and economically feasible.

Source: The Real Deal, “Who gets the house after ugly divorce battles?” Katherine Clarke, Aug. 1, 2012

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