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Which spouse keeps the marital home in a Texas divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2024 | Divorce

When married couples decide to divorce, spouses have many issues to address with one another. Some spouses have marital agreements that dictate what happens during divorce proceedings. The majority of married couples in Texas have to address divorce concerns once one spouse files paperwork.

Married couples share income and resources with one another and have to separate their pooled marital property when they divorce. The home where they live is usually the most valuable asset that spouses own jointly. Which spouse gets to keep the marital home in a Texas divorce?

Each divorce case is inherently unique

Sometimes, one spouse already had a connection to a property before getting married. They may have purchased the home on their own or inherited it from family members. In scenarios involving a pre-existing interest in the property, that spouse may have a slightly stronger claim to retaining possession of the home after the divorce.

However, unless there is a very clear prenuptial agreement setting the home aside as separate property, some of its value could still be at risk. Married couples typically contribute to mortgage payments, cover taxes or upgrade the property using marital income. Any marital contributions to the home’s equity could give the other spouse a partial claim to its equity in the divorce proceedings.

According to Texas community property statutes, income earned during the marriage and property acquired with that income is potentially subject to division. While only one spouse may stay in the home, the other can ask to receive some of its equity or valuable assets worth a comparable amount.

Staying in the home isn’t always the best solution

Moving to a new home is often part of the divorce process. While it may be disruptive when it first occurs, it is often beneficial. Someone determining whether they should seek possession of their home in a divorce needs to consider the practicalities carefully. They may not have the income or the credit score necessary to obtain financing for the property on their own. They may not have the skills or physical ability necessary to maintain the property without help. They may also have memories that could make staying in the home particularly difficult after a divorce.

Some people may find that allowing their spouse to stay in the marital home is the best solution. They can receive other marital resources to help them establish a new life elsewhere. Others may determine that the best solution for the marital home in a Texas divorce is to sell it and split the proceeds. Either way, setting informed goals can make a massive difference to those preparing for property division negotiations during a Texas divorce.