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What About The House?

Posted on June 19th, 2013 by The Red Headed Lawyer

During a divorce, the family home is usually the largest and most difficult asset to manage. What to do with the home is one of the most challenging questions a divorcing couple will have to answer.

If one party owned the home before the marriage, or received it as part of an inheritance or gift, it is considered his or her separate property. In this circumstance, he or she has the right to decide what to do with this house after the divorce, as well as who gets to live there during the divorce. However, since Texas is a community property state, when the home is part of the community estate, a judge may give temporary possession of the home to whoever has temporary custody of the children, in order to keep the children’s lives as stable as possible.

Stability often plays a part in the disposition of the home to complete the divorce. Sometimes parties agree to let one parent and the children stay in the home for a certain period of time. The children may be a couple of years away from graduating so the parties might agree for one parent to stay in the home until then. But divorcing couples are not always agreeable about the family residence. Some clients insist they should have the home, only to later regret the financial burden. It would be beneficial for divorcing to take advice from their attorneys or financial experts who see a house as a financial instrument and not as something that holds sentimental value.

In most cases, the family needed two combined sources of income in order to be able to afford the home. When one of those incomes is taken away, the house becomes difficult, if not impossible to afford. When you decide to divorce, there may not be enough assets to compensate the party who doesn’t get the house. In this case, parties often agree to sell the house or a judge can order it sold. Once the house is sold, generally the parties will split the proceeds in some manner.