There are certain issues in a Texas divorce that will cause unavoidable worries for both parties. Property division can be a source of contention. One property that is often in dispute is the family home. Knowing what to do with this asset can be complicated as it is often the most valuable part of a couple’s portfolio. In general, there are two choices: either sell the property or have one of the spouses keep it. Knowing the positives and negatives of these alternatives is imperative.
Selling the property and paying off a mortgage, if any, is a method to make a clean break and not have any connection to the property in which the couple spent their married life. It can be useful to pay off any debts that were accrued as a couple. If the property increased in value, there is the issue of capital gains tax from the sale price. In some instances, the value of the property reduced and the couple will end up losing money. This should be factored in.
One spouse deciding to retain the home could be beneficial, particularly for those with children or older people. With mortgage payments, it must be understood that the spouse who keeps the home will be responsible for the entire payment. If it is possible to refinance, the spouse who takes on the new mortgage will have the property in his or her name. This will hinge on their credit score and the payments could be higher than they can afford alone.
With a mortgage, the spouse keeping the property can keep the mortgage as is, remove the spouse’s name, and continue paying the loan as before. This too can hinge on the creditworthiness of the person. A quitclaim deed could be necessary so the former spouse no longer has a claim to the property. The family home is just one example of the multitude of family law issues that often accompany a divorce. Speaking to a family law professional about property division is an important part of a divorce and is the first call that a person planning to end a marriage should make.
Source: marketwatch.com, “What to do about your home in a divorce,” Shawn Leamon, March 11, 2017