Dividing up the marital home in a Texas Divorce, Part Two

Dividing up the marital home in a Texas Divorce, Part Two

In case you missed the Law Office of Bryan Fagan’s first blog post in this series on the marital home and its relation to your Texas divorce case, I highly suggest going back and reading it. As we discussed in that post, the emotions surrounding the family home are real and can impact you a great deal as it comes time to complete your divorce. The emotions that you feel, while understandable, can complicate and get in the way of your ability to make sound financial decisions.

Let’s continue our discussion by going over what your loan options may end up being when it comes to taking on the mortgage yourself as well as where to turn for assistance in this critical area of your divorce case.

Making sense of your loan options

From my experience as a family law attorney, most folks think that it is necessary to either sell or refinance their martial home in order to finalize their divorce. This is not always the case, however. While the sale or refinance of the house can occur quickly after the divorce sometimes it can take months or even years to get there. The reason for the delay can have a lot to do with the children who remain living in the house after the divorce. You may have older children who you want to remain in the house without any disruption at least until they move on to college or a post-high school job. In that type of situation you and your spouse may agree to wait to deal with any issues surrounding a refinance and paying your ex spouse his or her share of the equity in the home.

An owelty lien agreement can help you

What many attorneys suggest for their clients is the implement a Owelty Lien Agreement. What this agreement means is that one spouse will own the house while the other spouse will keep the right to pull equity of the house equal to what was available at the time of the divorce. You would then be able to remain in the home or move out, depending on what the final decree of divorce orders you to do, and your right to receive or pay out equity to your ex spouse would be unaffected for a certain period of time. If you are awarded the home you would have the ability to make improvements on the home immediately if you so choose. If you are the spouse who moves out of the home you are able to retain your interest in the equity to the home.

Another benefit to this scenario is that the uncertainty surrounding the ability for you or your spouse to re-finance the mortgage until the time comes to pay out the equity. If you are the spouse awarded the home you will need to make timely payments on the mortgage as you have been doing throughout the marriage. This is an ideal set up for those spouses who are able to work together towards a successful resolution of their divorce.

Always make sure you are receiving the assistance that you need

As we’ve already touched on, the process of dividing up your marital estate is taxing from both an emotional, physical and financial perspective. In addition to having your attorney to rely on for advice associated with your divorce, it is wise to consult with a realtor in the event that it becomes likely that your home will be sold as a result of the case. I should note here that I don’t mean your cousin the realtor who sells one house every other year. I mean a licensed and experienced realtor who sells many, many homes each year and can assist you with your questions and concerns. A realtor can assist you and your spouse on marketing the home, staging it for potential buyers and working out the finer points of the closing process once an offer has been approved.

If you and your spouse end up having difficulties with your divorce it is likely due to a failure in communication. When the sale of the family home is upcoming or being planned then communication becomes even more essential. Your attorneys will be able to assist in this area and a realtor can act as another medium. The hard part of selecting a realtor is that you and your spouse will have to agree on one. This is where the strength of your attorney comes into play. Having an experienced family law attorney representing you means that your wishes as far as the process of selecting a realtor can honored through negotiation by the attorneys. Your attorney and realtor can often times work together to make sure an appraisal is completed that tells you the value of your home so that the terms of your divorce decree reflect an accurate representation of where the house’s value is.

Feeling overwhelmed by your divorce?

If you’ve read both articles on the subject of selling your home in relation to a divorce and still feel apprehensive I will again point out that the best advice you can receive is to find and retain an attorney you feel that you can trust. Hiring the right attorney for your divorce will allow you to proceed down the path towards the next stage of your life at an efficient pace. Selling your home, or remaining in it, is just another part of that process.

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are here to assist you during this uncertain time in your life. We represent clients across southeast Texas and would be proud to do the same for you and your family. To learn more about our office and the services we provide please do not hesitate to contact us today. A consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys is free of charge and are available six days a week.

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