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What happens to the family home in a divorce?

Home is where the heart is. There's no place like home. There are numerous sayings that reflect the deep emotions that are tied to the place one has turned into one's personal living space. When going through a divorce, determining what happens to that home can be a challenging decision. Divorcing couples in Texas have several options depending on whether both, one or neither of the spouses want to maintain ownership of the home.

If both parties are able to walk away from the property, it may be sold and the profits from the sale divided. For some, this option is the best because it allows both parties to leave the past behind them and start fresh in a new place where only new memories are made. Additionally, it allows a more clear and concise way to settle the division of any equity that has been accrued.

Often one spouse keeps the house and buys out the other spouse's ownership interest. As long as the house is refinanced in only the name of the spouse who is keeping it, this allows one spouse to be completely free and clear of any responsibility associated with the house and allows the other spouse to keep the home independently. If there are children, this allows them to spend at least part of their time in the home they have grown up in and may allow them to stay in the same school system they attended previously.

A more rarely utilized option would be for both spouses to maintain ownership of the family home after the divorce. In this situation both spouses don't necessarily live in the home; they just both have an ownership interest. This can be a trickier situation because the spouses have to work out an agreement regarding the division of the expenses such as taxes, repairs and mortgage payments. Both spouses are accruing equity in the home, so usually both contribute to expenses even if not living there.

Everyone's situation is different, so what works for one couple may not for another. For some it is best to hold onto the family home while for others it is best to let it go. An experienced Texas divorce attorney can help the client determine what best fits his or her needs and the needs of the family.

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