Law Office of Jacqueline McNuttLaw Office of Jacqueline McNutt

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Is it realistic to keep the house after divorce?

Buying a house is a significant investment for Texas couples, both financially and emotionally. This can make dividing this property during divorce particularly difficult. For those who are hoping to keep the family home during property division, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Before deciding whether keeping the home is a good idea, the divorcing couple has to determine the home's value. After figuring out the value, the couple should subtract any outstanding balance on the mortgage and any outstanding equity. What remains is the couple's shared equity in the house. Keeping the home usually means buying a soon-to-be ex out of his or her share.

There is more to consider than just the ability to buy out that equity. For instance, it might mean giving up a significant share of other marital assets, such as retirement savings. For others it means taking out a new mortgage to pay off the old balance and the ex's equity. While a person might be capable of making these upfront costs, it is easy to forget about long-term expenses. Monthly mortgage payments, upkeep costs, Texas property taxes and more can be much more difficult to manage on a single, post-divorce income.

For those who are financially prepared to maintain ownership of the family home after divorce, getting started on the process early can be helpful. Aside from establishing the home's value and shared equity, getting preapproved for a new mortgage can also be helpful. However, if a person is not financially equipped to keep the house, he or she should be sure to explore other options, such as selling the home and dividing the resulting profits.

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