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Dealing with the marital home in Texas divorces

When people file for divorce in Texas, the largest single marital asset owned by the couple is often the family home. As a community property state, the marital estate will be divided equally between the spouses, meaning that when the two own a house, the value of the house will be divided with half going to each.

A party who wishes to keep the home may be faced with the prospect of buying out the other party's share of the home's equity. Some couples may instead choose to place the home on the market, splitting the sales profit between them. Often, these types of divorce fire-sales end with people selling at below market prices, resulting in both parties losing significant amounts of money through lost equity.

When the couple agrees that one person will get the home in the divorce, the person who receives it may also be in a situation in which both of their names may be on the mortgage. The person who moves may need to be able to remove their name from the mortgage in order to free up their own credit so they can purchase a new home. One way for this problem to be solved is by requiring the person who wishes to stay in the home to refinance the house in a new mortgage in only his or her name.

There are several ways to resolve the issue of how to divide the marital home. Property division can be complex in some cases. Arriving at an agreement may be very beneficial as the court will determine what will happen to the home and other assets without such agreements in place. People may thus want to try to negotiate a way to resolve property division issues in a fair manner without the court making the decision for them.

Source:, "How to Divide Your House in a Divorce", Scott Sheldon, December 04, 2014

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