Keeping your house in a Texas divorce

Anxious about your divorce? Many people in your shoes are nervous about the outcome of their case. Anxiety is a factor when life is turned upside down. That anxiety impacts how you approach your case. Determining what is in your child’s best interests is simpler when you think clearly. Anxiety is a surefire way to cloud your thinking and complicate your case. For this reason, you need to understand the issues at play in a divorce case.

Remaining in the family home during and after your case remains an admirable goal. Seeking stability in the storm of a family law case is reasonable. Wanting to provide a haven for your children is an instinct many parents have. Focusing on this discussion means considering several different avenues which are relevant to our discussion. This includes- finances, strategies for custody, convenience, and custody logistics.

In today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we will be focusing on these topics. Keeping the family home during and after the divorce is possible. The question we are asking today is whether it is practical to do so. Asking yourself whether you should do this just because you can do it is another reasonable position to take. We will approach this subject from all angles in hopes of providing you with clarity today.

Different perspectives on home ownership

Taking into consideration all our experience working with families in divorce cases there are different perspectives related to home ownership. When you believe that your current home is your “forever” home. This means that you look at the current family home you are in as the home you plan to retire living in. Building a home from scratch with the help of a home builder means that you put extra effort into his process. As a result, you are more committed to this home than most.

Or, going through a divorce in your “golden years” puts you in a position where you simply do not have the desire to move again after the divorce. This house is near your children, your grandchildren, and your community. The home is a symbol of who you are. Leaving that home is the furthest thing from your mind now. Couple that with rising interest rates on home mortgages and your current home is the one you plan to live your life in moving forward.

Other people view a home as just a pile of bricks and wood. That is an understatement, of course, but when you do not attach much sentimentality to the home, moving is easier. Having moved a lot as a child makes moving as an adult easier, as well. Having financial concerns about homeownership is normal but getting wrapped up in emotions surrounding the home isn’t your plan.

Do you have minor children?

Of course, a major question in a divorce case has to do with whether you have minor children at home. Keeping the house for your children is an understandable goal. For one, your children are in your ear telling you that they don’t want to move. Their friends and school are close by. This is the house they grew up in. There are several practical and emotional ties pulling the kids back to that house. Balancing all these considerations is difficult and a challenge for a homeowner.

Working alongside an attorney is the best way for you to accomplish any goals you have surrounding your house. Considering all the circumstances at play in a divorce you need guidance. Goal setting is necessary, as well. Wandering into a divorce is entirely possible. Wandering out of a divorce having accomplished anything substantial is the for many people in your shoes. Avoiding that fate becomes possible by your planning.

An experienced family law attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan serves clients in divorce cases. We will help you plan your case, learn the law, and help you to make good decisions. Hiring an attorney is a short-term investment into your long-term future. Contact us today for a free of charge consultation.

Financial considerations matter when discussing your home

Completely removing financial and practical considerations from the discussion of what to do with your home is a mistake. You need to be able to fairly consider all these factors when determining how to proceed with your home in the divorce. Leaning too heavily on any of these factors means having a disjointed analysis. You will not assess the situation fairly with this type of thought process.

Balancing all factors according to their merit places proper importance on these issues. Thinking hard about what matters most to your family is how to accomplish this goal. Staying in the family home after a divorce cannot only be a sentimental decision. Remaining in the home tends to be an emotional point of emphasis for many families. Remembering all those important moments. Recalling the good times with family and friends. Working your way through all these memories is enough to make any person sentimental.

However, it is here that so many families run into errors and mistakes. Being practical in your decision-making associated with the house is necessary. Falling into the trap of sentimentality means taking on massive financial responsibilities that you may not be ready for. Considering all your living options is what puts you in a good position. Considering only sentimental memories associated with the home puts you in a position where you make bad decisions.

Practical considerations matter when discussing your home

On top of the financial portions of the decision-making process, there are also necessary practical considerations. Asking yourself if a house completes your family or makes life better for your child is worthwhile. Eliminating unnecessary stress and hardship matters in a divorce. Your home represents stress and hardship whether you admit it or not. There is maintenance, upkeep, and general labor performed in home ownership. Not being ready to take that on individually does not speak poorly of you. Rather, it shows that you are being intentional about home ownership.

Deciding where you will live after the divorce also matters when it comes to deciding to keep a home. Do you want to live in that house? Determining your next steps as far as moving may sound straightforward but is anything but. There are so many different factors swirling around your head after a divorce. Being able to block out the noise and focus on what matters the most is a great path forward.

Receiving contradictory advice from family or friends always puts a lot of pressure on you. Being caught between a rock and a hard place at a time like this is not easy. At the same time, your children and other family influence your decision-making, as well. Allowing the Law Office of Bryan Fagan to provide you with information and context about this decision helps you now and in the future.

Inventorying your property

The property in your home is important even if you are not staying in the home. This process is known as taking inventory of your property. This is done for all types of property that you own but today we are focusing on property within the four walls of your primary residence. Taking advantage of every opportunity you have to inventory your property is important. The reason is that you do not know when you will be ordered or asked to leave home. Therefore, every opportunity is precious when inventorying.

Inventorying a home looks very basic. Taking photos of each room, dresser drawer, and closet in the home is where you start. Being as diligent as you can be sets you up for success. This is an activity you should do at the beginning of your case. The earlier you get this done, the better. Bear in mind that you do not know about losing access to your home. This happens to one spouse or the other in the divorce. If it is you then you need to inventory your property sooner rather than later.

Start with each room. Walk around with your phone and take basic photographs of each room. Then you start by opening drawers, closets, safes, and any other nook and cranny in the home. The more diligent you are the better. Detail is never a bad thing.

Appraising the items in your home and elsewhere

Once you have inventoried your home the next step is to inventory any items you own outside of the home. Examples of property you own outside your home are retirement accounts, savings, safety deposit boxes, and places of this nature. Your intangible assets are usually your most valuable ones. We all have a personal collection of something, but that personal collection is usually more sentimentally based than financially based.

Appraising the items in your estate is important to gauge the value of your separate estate. You undoubtedly own property that is yours separate from your community estate. This separate estate is indivisible by a family court judge in the divorce. Your spouse has a separate estate, as well. All property owned by you and your spouse presumptively is community owned but that presumption can be overcome with evidence.

The value of these estates matters when dividing up the community estate, determining spousal maintenance (if any) as well as planning on your part for after the divorce. Working with an experienced family law attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan helps you to prepare for this phase of your case.

What about the house?

Notice that we have not spoken about your family home yet. Classifying the house, as a community or separate property, matters in a divorce. Talking about keeping the house in a divorce is not always possible. This is due to the house possibly belonging to your spouse’s separate estate. Family court judges cannot divide separate property in a divorce. The home may be part of your separate estate or that of your spouse depending upon when it was purchased.

Your spouse’s separate property cannot be divided, either. Producing documents showing the purchase date of the home predated your marriage makes the house her separate property. Judges cannot award that house to you in the divorce. Reimbursement of community funds used to improve the property is sent back for division in the divorce, however.

Keep in mind that the same rule applies when it comes to the house and your separate estate. Purchasing a home before you get married means the house is part of your separate estate. Therefore, it cannot be divided in the divorce, either. Bear this in mind when considering whether to hire an attorney for your divorce. Keeping all this information straight is not easy. Working with an experienced family law attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan helps tremendously.

Do you want the house for the future or the memories?

This is the question that you ultimately need to answer. This is a difficult question to ask yourself, certainly. Determining the cause of your motivation to keep a house in your name after a divorce requires honesty. Ultimately, the question breaks down one of two ways: Do you want the for its utility in the future or do you want the house as a store of memories for you and your family?

In many ways, you cannot be blamed for wanting the house back for either reason. However, when you view the case strategically, it becomes obvious you cannot remain in a home for sentimental reasons only. Staying in the house for this reason makes sense only if you have enough money to make that sort of decision. Considering that most of us do not have that kind of money in our budgets, thinking about financial impact matters a great all.

Moving through a divorce means collecting information and making good decisions. Becoming introspective and determining your true motivation behind wanting to stay in the marital home is key to this analysis. Anything short of this puts you in a position where you are moving forward on a plan that is based on illogic and sentimentality. Nothing wrong with some sentimentality, but when it drives your decision-making process, you make big mistakes.

Keeping the house- protecting yourself and your spouse

To conclude today’s blog post, let’s run through two different scenarios regarding your marital home. Suppose that in the divorce you keep the house. Signing a special warranty deed on the part of your spouse prevents her from asserting in the future that she has a claim to the home. Completing the special warranty deed puts ownership completely in your hands. Filing the deed with the county where the property is located allows you to update records for the home.

Next, staying in the house brings up questions of refinancing the mortgage. Refinancing the mortgage is getting a new loan for the home in your name only. Applying for a refinance does not guarantee approval. Putting in the divorce decree that the home must be refinanced within 30 or 50 days of the divorce finalization is not practical. However, stating that a refinance of the home must be attempted within 30-50 days puts you on more stable ground.

Your spouse stands on tricky legal ground when you remain in the home after the divorce. A deed of trust to secure assumption allows her to come in and foreclose on you and make payments in the future. Working with an experienced family law attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan helps you map out the steps necessary to tie up loose ends related to this family home.

Hiring an attorney helps achieve goals in a divorce

Whatever your position is on your home it is undoubtedly true that this home is an asset. Bringing up all these options overwhelms many people in your shoes. However, you don’t need to be overwhelmed, as well. Determining your goals on the home and then creating a plan to achieve those goals provides clarity. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan provide decision-making clarity for clients.

Contacting our office has never been easier. We can be reached by phone or online. Scheduling a free-of-charge consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys is the way to gain knowledge of relevant family laws. From there, working with an attorney from our office puts our experience to your advantage. We take pride in serving our clients. Thank you for spending time with us today on our blog. Please join us again tomorrow as we continue to post interesting and relevant blogs on Texas family law.

Questions about the world of Texas family law? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today for a free-of-charge consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys. Our experienced family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. Learning more about family law and its potential impact on your family is what a consultation provides you with.

Categories: Uncategorized

Share this article





Related Articles

Legal Remedies: How Texas Addresses Cyber Bullying and Ensures Online Safety

The Evolution of Legislation: Tracing the Development of Texas Cyber Bullying Laws

Navigating the Divorce Spectrum: Understanding Contested vs Uncontested Divorce

The Unexpected Use Of High Tech SkyECC Allows For Murder Plot

What to Do If DFPS Contacts You During a Divorce

Legal Rights and Responsibilities During a DFPS Investigation

Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Today!

At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri: 8 AM – 6 PM Saturday: By Appointment Only

"(Required)" indicates required fields