Every paycheck that you have brought home has helped contribute toward the house where you live. Your monthly mortgage payments could be as much as 30% of your combined income, and you may also have contributed a lot of sweat equity by helping to maintain and fix up the property. Your home represents a significant portion of your personal wealth.
You believe that divorce is in your immediate future, but you still feel a deep sense of attachment to the home where you lived while married. Should keeping the house be your top priority in your upcoming Texas divorce?
You don’t have to live in the home to share in it
One of the most persistent myths related to property division in modern divorces is the urban legend that those who move out of the family home in the divorce receive nothing. However, Texas has a very thorough community property law that applies when dividing your assets in a divorce.
Your contributions throughout the marriage will make at least part of the home’s equity shareable community property. Even if your spouse is the one who keeps the house or the courts order you to sell it, you should receive an appropriate portion of the equity in the divorce.
Homeownership can be harder on your own
Although you can currently afford the mortgage, it can be much more difficult to do so with only one income. You may not make enough to qualify for the mortgage you will need, especially when you consider the necessity of withdrawing equity to compensate your spouse. Additionally, it is important for you to consider the practical implications of solitary homeownership.
Do you have enough time every week to do all of the cleaning and household maintenance that you used to share with your spouse? For some people, staying in the same home after divorce will be unrealistic. For others, it will be possible if they are fully committed to the reality of solitary homeownership.
The good news is that even if you don’t ask to keep the home, you should still receive a fair portion of the home equity in the property division process. Setting clear goals for the division of your assets in your upcoming Texas divorce will make it easier for you to set yourself up for success in the future.