If you are preparing for divorce in Texas, you need to understand how the real estate you own may be affected. This can be an emotional and difficult life experience to go through as there are many considerations and decisions to be made about your future. We understand that these can seem overwhelming.
You should not have to worry about the legal details of your upcoming divorce. Let us assertively advocate on your behalf so you can focus on your family. Contact the Katy asset division lawyers of Adams Law Firm today at (281) 391-9237. We can help you understand your options as you plan this new beginning in your life.
How Is Community Property Handled in Texas?
The state of Texas is a community property state. This means all the property that is obtained by either spouse during the marriage belongs to both partners. When a marriage in Texas ends in divorce, the community property will be divided. This can present a challenge in the case of real estate. Since real estate cannot be physically split in half, a decision must be made about how this property will be handled. The two options are generally either for one spouse to keep the real estate or for the property to be sold and the proceeds split.
What Is Separate Property?
If either spouse owned real estate prior to the marriage, it may be considered separate property. This may also be the case if one spouse obtained real estate as part of an inheritance they received during the marriage. In such a situation, this real estate may be considered separate instead of being community property. The spouse who inherited will need to prove ownership to demonstrate that this is separate property.
It may be that joint finances were used for maintenance or improvements on the separate property during the marriage. If this is the case, the resulting increased property value may be considered community property.
The property must be appraised to determine its current value. This is true whether the property will be sold or one spouse will keep the real estate. It may be that both spouses agree on one appraiser to use. It could also occur that each spouse decides to obtain their own appraisal. In such a situation, the two appraisals may yield values that are significantly different. When this happens, you may benefit from requesting a neutral appraiser to be appointed by the court. This way, you will have a third-party appraisal to document the value of the property.
Deciding Whether to Retain or Sell Jointly Owned Property
From the standpoint of simplicity, selling the property is often the most straightforward method for dividing real estate. In such a case, any mortgages would be paid, and the remaining proceeds would be split. However, you may wish to retain a property. Before making this decision, you should consider several things, including:
- Your financial state after the divorce
- The costs to maintain the property, including property taxes and insurance
- Assessing whether the property is expected to appreciate or depreciate
If you decide to retain a property, you would essentially buy your spouse out. They would receive a payout from you of half the value of the property. This may also be achieved if you give up other assets that equal half the property’s value. If the property has a mortgage, you would need to refinance it so that the mortgage would be solely in your name. Refinancing eliminates your spouse’s liability for the outstanding debt. They would also need to sign and file a Special Warranty Deed to relinquish their ownership interest in the property.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Each divorce is unique and has its own considerations. What may be right for a person in a certain situation may not be right for someone in a different situation. When a marriage includes real estate that is owned jointly, complex implications exist. You need to make sure that you understand these implications before you make decisions about what to do with your property. When a divorce is contentious, dividing real estate becomes even more complicated.
You need an experienced attorney who will assertively pursue all the assets you deserve. By letting a divorce lawyer handle your case, you can significantly reduce your stress. A skilled attorney will make sure that the decisions you make today will help provide for you and your family tomorrow. You may be tempted to make certain concessions just to get the divorce done as quickly as possible. This can seem quite reasonable at the time. You need someone who will handle these types of considerations for you.
At Adams Law Firm, we fight to achieve the most favorable outcome for each client we represent. Our attorneys know which decisions can have lasting impacts on you and your family. We can also be an objective voice of reason as we help you move through this divorce with dignity and strength.
Call Adams Law Firm Today
If you are going through a divorce in Texas, you need to speak with an asset division attorney. We understand that this can be a painful and frustrating time. We are here to make sure that you receive what is rightfully yours. We have been helping individuals like you with divorce and family law issues for more than 35 years. This gives us a depth of experience that we will bring to your case. You can trust that we have your best interests in mind.
The legal process of getting a divorce can be complex. We can help you navigate this as we have done for many prior satisfied clients. We invite you to look over our responses to some of the most frequent questions we receive. Let us put your mind at ease so you can focus on moving on with your life.