Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Texas?

One of the most significant assets couples often confront is their marital home. You need a lawyer who understands how Texas law addresses property division when deciding who gets the house in a divorce.

Below are some factors that determine who gets the house in a divorce in Texas and provide insights on navigating this challenging process. It’s crucial to seek guidance from a knowledgeable divorce lawyer in Helotes, Texas.

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Every Divorce Addresses Property Division

In every divorce, whether it’s amicable or contentious, property division is one of the key issues that spouses must address. Texas follows the principle of community property, meaning marital property generally belongs to both spouses 50/50.

Divorce Process

Many community property states require an equal division of community property upon divorce, but Texas law allows the court to consider what outcome is fair and just, given the circumstances.

Determining what constitutes marital property and separate property can be a complex task. Marital property typically includes any assets acquired during the marriage by either spouse.

In contrast, separate property refers to assets owned by either spouse before the marriage or acquired through gifts or inheritances. While this definition seems straightforward, determining the character of property can become complicated in certain cases.

Your divorce attorney can confirm that your house is community property, which is common in divorces.

A House Can Complicate Property Division in Your Divorce

The family home often holds significant emotional and financial value among the various assets that couples must divide. Many couples have invested time, money, and memories into their house, making it a crucial aspect of their lives and adding complexity to the property division process.

Unlike other assets, such as bank accounts or vehicles, you cannot easily divide a house. This raises questions about whether spouses should sell the house or if one spouse should retain ownership.

Resolving these issues requires careful consideration of various factors and a deep understanding of Texas property division laws, and your divorce lawyer will oversee this process.

How Texas Law Requires You to Divide Your Property

Property Division

In Texas, property division is based on the concept of “just and right.” Although this standard allows for flexibility in property division, the ultimate goal is to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of assets. While a 50/50 division is common, it is not always the case.

When determining who gets the house, Texas courts consider:

  • Contributions to the acquisition of property: Texas law recognizes both financial and non-financial contributions to property acquisition. This means that if one spouse puts more money into purchasing the house, they may have a stronger claim to it.
  • Spousal support: If one spouse requires spousal support or maintenance, the court may consider that when deciding who gets the house. The goal is to ensure both spouses can maintain a reasonably comparable lifestyle after the divorce.
  • Child custody arrangements: If children are involved, the court will prioritize their best interests when deciding who gets the house. This may involve awarding conservatorship to the parent who will provide a stable living environment for the children.
  • Debt obligations: If one spouse takes on a significant portion of the marital debt, such as mortgage payments, the court may consider this when deciding who gets the house.
  • Future financial prospects: The court may consider the financial prospects of each spouse when making a decision. If one spouse has a higher earning potential or is closer to retirement, they may be more likely to receive the house.

These factors are not exhaustive, and the court may consider additional circumstances specific to each case. A knowledgeable Texas divorce attorney can explain how these factors may apply to your situation.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Who Gets the House

Property Division in DivorceWhen deciding who gets the house in your divorce, consider the unique aspects of your case.

Here are a few additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Financial considerations: Consider the financial implications of keeping the house, including mortgage payments, property taxes, and maintenance costs. Ensure that you can afford to maintain the property on your own.
  • Emotional attachment: Acknowledge the emotional significance of the house and its impact on both you and your spouse. Assess whether keeping the house is truly in your best interest or if it is driven by sentimental reasons.
  • Long-term plans: Think about your long-term goals and how keeping or relinquishing ownership of the house aligns with them. Consider factors such as job prospects, relocation possibilities, and the needs of any children involved.
  • Practicality: Evaluate whether keeping the house is practical for your current circumstances. Will it provide stability and security for you and your children? Will the house be suitable for your future needs?
  • Negotiation and compromise: Remember that reaching a mutually beneficial agreement with your spouse through negotiation or mediation can be less costly and time-consuming than going to court. Consider exploring alternative dispute resolution methods to preserve your control over the outcome.

You May Prefer Out-of-Court Settlements

An out-of-court settlement is often preferable when dividing property, including the marital home. Resolving property division issues through negotiation or mediation allows you and your spouse to maintain control over the outcome while reducing the emotional and financial toll of a court battle.

During out-of-court settlements, you and your spouse can work with your respective attorneys to reach a fair and mutually agreeable resolution. This approach focuses on finding common ground and creating an outcome that meets the needs and concerns of both parties.

If You Cannot Agree, You Might Need Litigation

Sometimes, reaching a mutual agreement during the property division process is impossible. Litigation may be necessary if you and your spouse cannot agree on who gets the house. Going to court should be a last resort, as it can be costly, time-consuming, and unpredictable.

During litigation, a judge will decide who gets the house based on the evidence and arguments presented by both parties. Having a skilled Texas divorce attorney by your side is important to present a compelling case and protect your interests.

Consult a Texas Divorce Lawyer About Your Property Division Concerns

Property division in divorce cases can be challenging and emotionally charged, especially when it involves the family home. Always seek guidance from a knowledgeable Texas divorce attorney who can navigate the complexities of property division laws.

Beauregard Driller Fiegel

Attorney, President

Beauregard Fiegel was born to Lt. Col. Driller Fiegel and Sondi Lynn Fiegel, MBA-HCM, RN, LSSGE on March 31, 1985 in Ruston, Louisiana. He graduated from Warner Robins High School in Warner Robins, Georgia in 2003. From there he went to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He graduated in 2007 with two separate undergraduate degrees; a bachelor’s of arts degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Religious Studies and a bachelor’s of arts degree in Political Science with a concentration in Political Theory.