Divorce can be a complicated and emotionally charged experience, so it’s only natural for a lot of questions to arise during this process. After all, there are many different issues to address and factors to consider. When it comes to property division, however, usually the most common question is “who gets to keep the house?”
In Texas, property division is handled as it is in most other states: equitable distribution. This means that a judge divides marital property and assigns a portion to each spouse according to what they believe is fair and just. That can mean a lopsided settlement where one spouse comes out of the process with more than the other one does.
That said, there are typically two different outcomes to disputes about keeping a family home in divorce:
- One spouse keeps the home, buying out the other’s equity interest.
- Both spouses agree to sell the home and split the equity.
Buying Out Home Equity
When one spouse wishes to stay in the home, they can keep the home but may be required to buy out the other spouse’s equity interest, which can be determined by the court. A buyout can occur by allowing the spouse leaving the home to have a larger portion of other assets, such as retirement account funds.
What If Spouses Disagree?
If spouses can’t agree on what to do with their home, the judge may issue an order to sell the home and divide the equity (essentially the second option, although it’s no longer an option). Spouses are legally bound to comply with this order and can face penalties for failing to sell the home.
Do You Need Help with Divorce?
It can be hard to navigate your divorce, especially when it comes to important issues such as property division. Our experienced legal team at Kay Polk, Attorney at Law, however, can provide the representation you need to make this process a little easier.
For more information about how we can help, contact us online.