How to Get the House in a Texas Divorce

Settle with your spouse outside court if you want to keep the house.
Settle with your spouse outside court if you want to keep the house. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Divorce is a financially and emotionally stressful time for all parties involved. If you and your spouse owned a home during the marriage, both parties are likely to be concerned about who gets the house. Since Texas is a community property state, all marital property, including the marital home, will be divided 50/50 by the court unless the parties come to a fair property agreement between themselves outside court.

Talk to your estranged spouse about your desire to keep the house, clearly explaining your reasons and justifications. For example, if you are going to be primary caretaker of the children, is it important to continue raising them in the family home? Try to work out an agreement with your estranged spouse. Offer to buy out your spouse's share, if applicable. Alternatively, offer to give your estranged spouse all of the other marital property in exchange for getting the home free and clear. Your best hope for keeping the house is to come to an agreement with your ex outside court.

Review your finances carefully to be certain you can pay for the marital home on your own in addition to paying for reasonable living expenses. Even if your estranged spouse agrees to let you have the house at divorce, the court will not allow you to keep it and approve your property division if you cannot afford the home.

Petition the court for the home if you are unable to come to a property distribution agreement with your estranged spouse. Although Texas courts are required to divide all property in an equal 50/50 fashion, the law does allow the judge some leeway in determining the division. If the court is going to award you the home, be prepared both to sacrifice claims to all other marital property and to make future payments to the spouse, if necessary.

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