When going through a divorce in Texas, you may wonder what will happen to the home that you share with your spouse.

Texas is a community property state, so the answer depends on whether you purchased the house before or after you and your spouse married.

Community property versus separate property

According to the Texas Family Code, any separate property belongs to one spouse and will not see division during the divorce. As it pertains to real estate, this includes properties that you purchased before your marriage. Additionally, this includes properties that you received during your marriage as the result of either a gift or an inheritance. During your divorce, these properties are yours entirely, and you will be able to keep them.

Properties that you purchased during your marriage, however, are not separate property. Instead, they are community property. When it comes to community property, it is the court’s responsibility to determine which spouse gets what. This may mean that you have to sell your house in the end and divide the proceeds. The court will make the final ruling based on what it considers fair.

Unusual circumstances

If you own a piece of property with your spouse, you may file a petition to keep your house under the following circumstances.

  • The location of your spouse is unknown because they disappear. There is an exception to this if your spouse is a prisoner of war.
  • You and your spouse are permanently separated.
  • Your spouse permanently abandons not only you but also the residence

You may file a petition with the court no earlier than 60 days after your spouse disappears, abandons you or your separation becomes final.