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.