31 Mar Who Gets the House in a Divorce?
No matter what the circumstances are surrounding a divorce, there is no denying that this type of separation can be difficult and contentious at every turn. Before you start the divorce process, chances are you will have a number of questions about what to expect and about how assets are divided among the separating parties.
One of the biggest questions we get here at our law firm has to do with the “house”, the primary property that the couple resided in during their marriage often referred to in legal terms as the marital residence.
So, who gets the house in a divorce?
In Texas, the answer isn’t so simple. In fact, in this state, some of the most difficult divorce issues have to do with property division.
Texas, along with a few other states, is a “community property” state. This means that all income earned during a marriage and all property acquired during the marriage by either spouse is considered community property. Simply put, the house belongs to both spouses equally so long as it was not purchased by seperate funds or prior to marriage. The property will belong to a “community estate” and will be subject to division when the divorce is finalized.
In most cases, if you go through a divorce in Texas, the Court will split all of the marital property equally between the two divorcing spouses. Obviously, the house itself will not be split in half, so there are a few different roads to take to keep both parties satisfied. In some situations, it may be best if one spouse remains in the home while the other gets a cash settlement when they move out. It may also be best to sell the home entirely and split the equity from the sale.
The Court will take several factors into account including children and which party is more financially equipped to take on mortgage payments.
The Court will begin their process by assuming all property held by either spouse is “community property.” However, there is the option to identify “separate property” during the proceedings. This is any property that belonged to one of the spouses before the marriage and that was kept separate during the marriage. Examples of this would be someone being gifted a property, or one of the spouses receiving a property as an inheritance from a relative.
If you have questions about filing for divorce, or any of the other common steps involved in divorce proceedings, give the experts at Navarrette | Bowen a call. Our team is here to help with all of your family law needs and to walk you through this difficult time. We are here to answer all of your questions and provide you with the best representation possible. Give our firm a call today to learn more or schedule a meeting.
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