In the majority of divorce cases, the single most valuable asset is the family home. Not only does it hold a great deal of monetary value, it has emotional value as well. There are a lot of memories within those walls. So when it comes to property division, the family home is the one asset that tends to be at the center of disputes.
To answer the question of who gets the house, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration. What will child custody arrangements look like? How much is the house worth? Is it paid off? What is the income level of each spouse?
Keeping Up With The Mortgage Payments
Unless the home is paid off, mortgage payments will be one of the key considerations. Mortgage payments that may be perfectly reasonable for a two-income household might be much more difficult for a divorced individual with a single income.
In some cases, neither spouse can afford mortgage payments on their own, so the house will ultimately need to be sold. In fact, when a final divorce decree is issued and one spouse gets the house, the court may also issue an order that the house must be refinanced within a specified time period or else it must be sold. This ensures that problems do not arise for both parties should the house become unaffordable after the divorce.
If one spouse has an income that allows him or her to manage the mortgage payments while the other does not, that spouse may be more likely to get the house. If both spouses can afford the mortgage payments, or the house is already paid off, other factors will need to be taken into consideration.
Keeping The Child At Home
When there is a child involved, the directive under Texas law is to make choices that are in the child’s best interest. It is typically preferred that the child remain in the family home. This can make the transition less stressful for the child. For this reason, the spouse who gets managing conservatorship of the child may get the home. The other spouse may get a larger balance of the other property to keep things fair.
Thinking About The Future
When going through a divorce, it is easy to get caught up in the moment. You are comfortable in your home, and you want to remain comfortable. You do not want to go through the stress of finding a new place to live on top of going through a divorce. But it is important to examine what you want for the future.
Do you want your child to have to move? Do you want to remain in a home filled with memories of a marriage that has come to an end? Do you want to be left with a large portion of your income going to mortgage payments for a home that may be too big for you after the divorce? Would you benefit more from receiving a larger portion of other marital property?
The answers to these questions, and the questions themselves, are different in every divorce case, making it all the more important to work with an attorney who has navigated this maze before and can help you understand where every twist and turn could lead. At Heinrich Christian, PLLC, we will be your advocates.