One of the most challenging aspects of divorce is negotiating with your spouse who will get to keep what. You may both really love your family home and have sentimental attachment to it. You may have a vacation condo or a country club membership you both want to keep. You can’t literally split these assets in half, so how will you divide them? How can you get your family home if you want to keep it and avoid having to move, putting your children through another difficult transition?
Dividing assets in a Texas divorce
Texas is a community property state. That means you and your spouse will split your marital assets evenly, 50-50. So, first you will have to determine if your family home is marital property. If you bought it while you were married, it is marital property. If you inherited your home before you married, your home might be separate property, giving you full ownership of it in divorce. If you bought it before you married, your spouse still may receive a portion of its worth in divorce. If you paid your mortgage from joint accounts or paid for renovations or repairs from joint accounts, your spouse likely will receive some of your home’s worth in divorce.
The first step in dividing your home’s value in divorce is to determine:
- What you still owe on your mortgage loan
- What your home is now worth with an appraisal
Any equity in your home, you and your spouse will split evenly if your home is marital property. If you want to keep the home, you likely will have to refinance it to buy your spouse out of their share of its ownership. Or you could use other assets to buy your spouse out of their share. If you have a vacation condo, you could give your spouse ownership of that, plus more of your retirement savings. You also could decide with your spouse to both maintain ownership of the home and sell it at a later time.
Getting help with asset division in divorce
If you really want to keep your family home, you should consult with your divorce attorney about that. Your attorney can help you evaluate your marital assets and come up with options to buy out your spouse’s share of your home’s equity.
You may have to get a little creative to keep your family home. However, if you truly love your home and want to raise your children in it, you may decide buying out your spouse was worth it in the long run.