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Divorce and the family home

Dividing the physical and financial assets of a marriage may require agreements on many items. The division of such things as vehicles, securities, valuable collectibles, retirement benefits, and household items may have to be decided. In many cases, the family home is the most valuable asset that the couple has, so its disposition can become difficult to agree upon during a divorce. Couples in Texas have two options available to them in regard to their home when divorcing.

First, the home can be sold. The mortgage can be paid off, and if there are profits left over, any mutually acquired debts can also be paid. Depending on how long the home was owned and how much profit was made, a capital gains tax may have to be paid.  If the home does not sell for a profit, payment of the remaining debt will have to be agreed upon.

Second, one spouse can keep the home, with two options existing if this is the best solution. First, the man or woman can assume the existing mortgage without refinancing, removing the other person's name from the mortgage and keeping the existing loan terms in place. The person not keeping the home would likely be required to sign a quitclaim deed, releasing them of any rights to the property. The second option which may also require a quitclaim deed is for one spouse to refinance the home with a loan in their name only.

Trying to make rational decisions during a divorce can be difficult when emotions are involved. Financial decisions made at this time can have effects that last a lifetime. An Texas attorney with experience in handling all types of divorces, amicable or contested, can be the reasoned and rational aid a man or woman going through a breakup needs to help ensure these decisions are the best for the long-term.

Source:, "How to Handle Your Home During Divorce", Shawn Leamon, Feb. 22, 2017

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