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How Texas community property laws impact your home in divorce

State laws have a major impact on the outcome of your divorce proceedings. In Texas, you will find state laws support the community property standard of division. That standard will impact everything about your marital assets, from your credit card debt down to your retirement plan.

For many couples in Texas facing divorce, the asset they worry about the most is their marital home. This concern is reasonable, given how a home is often the biggest purchase a couple makes in their married life. The amount of equity you accumulate in your home over the years can represent a substantial amount of your income during the marriage.

Thankfully, the courts definitely consider the importance of the marital home and its value to both divorcing parties when handling the asset division process.

What community property laws mean for your divorce

Texas is one of a number of states that uses a community property standard for asset division in a divorce. Basically, all assets and debts acquired during the marriage become community property. Exceptions to this law include property or income specifically addressed with a prenuptial agreement and property that one spouse owned independently prior to marriage.

Typically, separate property owned before marriage must be kept separate from household assets during the marriage. Otherwise, those assets become commingled with the marital assets and may wind up subject to division in divorce.

The courts will try to fairly split community assets between both spouses, but that doesn't always means a perfect 50/50 division of your assets. Instead, the courts will do their best to split assets in a manner that is reasonable and fair given the contributions of each spouse to the marriage and their economic potential at the time of the divorce.

Child custody, income and credit will all factor into the decision

A home that you lived in during your marriage is more than a major investment. It is also a symbol of stability for your children, if you have any. It makes sense then, that Texas Courts consider custody agreements and economic circumstances when allocating a home in a Texas divorce. The courts generally wants to do everything they can to minimize the impact of a divorce on children.

Sometimes, this can mean allowing the custodial parent and children to remain in the house. However, that isn't always how things play out. Sometimes, the courts will have to look more carefully at who has the income and credit to finance the home without the help of a spouse.

In some cases, neither spouse can afford the home. That might lead to the courts ordering that you sell your home in the divorce. Unless you and your ex can come to an amiable agreement about how to handle your marital home, any of these outcomes is feasible in your divorce.

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