Selling a House During Divorce in Texas Guide
For many divorcing couples, a house is among the most significant and valuable marital assets. Often, a home needs to be sold during the divorce process. This could be a complicated process riddled with stress for both spouses. One of the best steps that you can take as you prepare to sell your Texas home is to educate yourself about the process. Sell a house during a divorce in Texas detailed guide will give you all of the information that you need to know.
Table Of Contents
- How Does a House Sale During a Divorce Work in Texas?
- Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Texas?
- Should I Sell Texas House Before or After Divorce?
- Who Gets to Stay in the House During Divorce in Texas?
- Alternatives to Selling During Divorce in Texas
- Divorce House Sale Texas Frequently Asked Questions
- Easiest Way to Sell a House During A Divorce In Texas
- Selling a House During Divorce in Texas to a Cash Home Buyer
How Does a House Sale During a Divorce Work in Texas?
Texas is a community property state, which means that everything acquired during the marriage is split 50-50. However, the court has the right to adjust to this based on what it determines to be just. Because of this, dividing marital property in a divorce may not be as simple as it initially seems. With this in mind, It requires a few essential steps to sell your Texas home.
Step 1. Find a Divorce Attorney in Texas
It is not legally required to hire a divorce lawyer in Texas, but there are many benefits to doing so. Your attorney can guide you through intense negotiations and offer advice so that you gain control of the assets to that you are legally entitled.
Step 2: Determine Who Owns the Real Estate
Any assets that you owned before you got married are considered separate property and are legally yours after the divorce. However, a Texas home purchased during marriage is a joint asset and must be equitably divided. There are some factors that could make this a gray area, such as if the home was purchased with funds inherited by a single spouse. Your attorney can help you to determine the asset’s ownership.
Step 3. Decide How You Want to Sell the Texas House
In many cases, those who are facing divorce own their home jointly. This means that they must come to an agreement on how to sell the Texas house. Hiring a local Realtor is one option for finding buyers. In an uncontested divorce, the couple may decide together which agent to hire. Otherwise, a judge will make that decision.
Another option is to sell to a local cash home buyer. Because a cash buyer purchases mobile homes, condos, houses, and other property types as-is, there is no need to agree on and pay for staging, repairs, and more. In addition, because the buyer pays cash, delays in the home loan process are eliminated. However, the parties must agree on which cash buyer to sell to.
You could also sell the house yourself. A for-sale-by-owner transaction can reduce closing costs and gives you greater control over showings and marketing. However, this option to sell can be frustratingly slow, and it will require the two spouses to communicate well and work closely together.
Step 4: Sell the Texas House
Sell it to a cash home buyer in Texas is the fastest option. In addition to avoiding mortgage delays, you will not have lengthy negotiations or have to wait for an inspection and an appraisal to be completed. In comparison, the process of selling with a local Realtor or as an FSBO may come with delays related to preparing the home to list for sale, finding the right buyer, negotiating a reasonable deal, and more. If you sell the house through a Realtor, you also have the additional cost of real estate agent commissions at closing.
Step 5: Divide the Proceeds from the Sale
Regardless of your decision to sell to a cash buyer, through an agent, or on your own, there are several fees and expenses that must be paid at the closing table. These include property taxes, unpaid liens against the house, the remainder of the mortgage, agent fees, and more. Once these fees are paid, the court will apply the net proceeds to any outstanding marital debts. The remaining proceeds will then be allocated according to the law.
Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Texas?
There is no hard and fast rule about who gets the family house after a divorce in Texas. Several things must be taken into account to determine if one party will get the house or if the house’s value must be divided. For example, any property that you own before marriage is separate property and continues to be yours after the divorce. The assets used to buy the house will also be a factor. In some cases, one spouse wishes to reside in the house after the divorce. For example, the parent who gets primary child custody may want to remain in the house for the sake of the children. If one of the spouses wishes to take full ownership of the house, he or she may need to refinance the mortgage and remove the other spouse’s name from the title. Other marital assets may be allocated to compensate that spouse for his or her share of ownership of the property.
In some cases, both parties want the house. Co-owning the house is one option to consider. If this is not suitable for the couple, the judge will decide who gets the house. The other marital assets will be divided equitably. The judge may also require the sale if the value of the marital asset or the specific terms of the sale cannot be agreed upon by both people.
Should I Sell Texas House Before or After Divorce?
The options to sell before or after the divorce are both possible. If both spouses agree to sell before the divorce settlement is finalized, the divorce attorneys can prepare an agreement outlining the terms agreed upon upfront for the sale. These terms include property repairs, the sales price, and other relevant factors. Keeping the house until after the divorce decree is signed may not be possible in all situations even if it is preferred by both parties. In order to pay off the marital debts, the home may need to be sold. Because of this, the sale of the house may be required by the court.
There are a few factors to consider before deciding when to sell the house. For example, one or both people may need the money from the sales proceeds to make their new living arrangements or for other needs. Another matter to consider is who is making the mortgage payments. If one person regularly contributes more to the loan payments, it may be in that person’s best interest to sell as soon as possible.
Who Gets to Stay in the House During Divorce in Texas?
In many cases, neither spouse wants to reside in the Texas home while the divorce papers and terms are being finalized. However, both spouses are usually entitled to live in the home according to divorce laws if it is jointly titled. If the house is considered to be separate property, however, the individual who is on the deed has rights to the house. Child custody may also impact who gets to use the home until the divorce is finalized. The judge may determine which parent has temporary custody during the proceedings, and the judge may rule that the parent with custody and the children can remain in the home until the divorce settlement is finalized.
Alternatives to Selling During Divorce in Texas
Selling this type of marital asset is common during a divorce, but it is not the only option available. Depending on your relationship with the other party, how well you communicate and other factors, an alternative to the sales process could be in your best interests. What are some of the alternatives to a home sale?
Co-Own the Property
In some instances, market conditions make it disadvantageous to sell the home. If you owe more to the lender than what the house is worth, co-ownership could make sense. Keep in mind that selling a property also comes with costly fees that must be paid at closing. These may include property taxes, real estate agent commissions, professional fees to an appraiser and property inspector, and more. If co-ownership is agreed upon, the spouses must agree on how to split expenses like property title, maintenance, utilities, taxes, and mortgage payments. These costly expenses may impact the decision about how to hold the title to the house.
Buy Out the Other Spouse
If a shared home is not practical or feasible for both parties and one of the spouses wants ownership of the house, then that person can buy out the other party. This involves deciding what the value of the property is and agreeing on terms. Then, the person who wants to continue owning the home must refinance the existing loan. This may be a reasonable option to consider if the couple wants their children to continue living in the same house and attending the same school.
Divide the Marital Assets
If there are other considerable spousal assets, those assets may be divided equitably to compensate one spouse for his or her ownership of the home. For example, one spouse may receive a larger allocation of joint assets like stocks, bonds, cars, and other assets. The other spouse may receive less or no other marital assets in exchange for full ownership of the real estate.
Divorce House Sale Texas Frequently Asked Questions
There are many things to consider when deciding how to deal with a house in divorce. Divorcing parties often have several of the same questions, and knowing what to expect and what your options are can help you to navigate through this significant life change. What are some of the most frequently asked questions?
Can I sell the house before the divorce is final?
An important matter to consider upfront is how and when to handle the sale of the marital home. In most instances, the house can be sold before or after the divorce is finalized, but this will depend on if both parties can come to an agreement, the desired timing for the finalization of the divorce, and the judge’s ruling. Regardless of the agreed-upon timing of the sale, the couple must decide whether to sell through a real estate agent, as an FSBO or directly to a cash buyer.
Is Texas a 50-50 divorce state?
Texas is a 50-50, or community property, state. This means both spouses share marital assets and debts equally. However, this does not necessarily mean that the home and other assets and debts will be split 50-50. The divorce law in [market-state] indicates specifically that assets and debts should be divided based on what is “just and right.” This is similar to states with an equitable division law. Because of this, the final decision on how the proceeds from the sale of the home will be made by the court.
How does capital gains tax work in a divorce?
Generally, homeowners are responsible for paying capital gains tax when the proceeds from the property’s sale exceed a certain amount. However, an article in the U.S. tax code indicates that capital gains tax does not apply to a property transfer. If the primary residence or any other real estate owned is sold during the divorce, the parties will be responsible for capital gains tax as long as the proceeds are below a specific threshold. There are special considerations related to military service, each spouse’s taxable income, and the date of the sale.
Can I force my ex to sell the house after the divorce?
If you wish to purchase your ex’s rights to the house during the divorce proceedings, you can make an offer to do so. However, your ex is not required to sell the house. In this situation, the matter will go before the court, and the judge will decide. If your ex gets the house in the final divorce decree, the house can be sold exclusively according to his or her discretion after the final settlement.
How do I sell my house if one partner refuses?
If your spouse is not interested to sell the marital home, he or she can make arrangements to purchase your share of the real estate. The existing home loan must be refinanced so that you are removed from the deed and are no longer responsible for its debt. In the event that this is not possible, your divorce attorney can present the matter to the court. The judge will rule on the matter, and that ruling must be executed by both parties.
Easiest Way to Sell a House During A Divorce In Texas
At Southern Hills Home Buyers, we are a local real estate buyer interested in paying cash for your house. We buy houses throughout Texas, including those that are pending foreclosure, have been inherited, are being sold during a divorce, and more. The house sales experience can be complicated and time-consuming, and our courteous team is pleased to offer you a better solution. If you have questions about our business and the offer that we can make to you, contact our honest home-buying business today.
Selling a House During Divorce in Texas to a Cash Home Buyer
As a cash home buyer, we can make a difference in your sales experience. Extensive delays, costly fees, and other hassles are common with FSBO sales and real estate agent transactions. However, these can be avoided when you sell to us. We can make you a cash offer today that is based on the property’s current value in its as-is condition. Repairs, staging, marketing, showings, and other issues can be avoided. We can even finalize our purchase of the house with your unwanted personal belongings in it. We are interested in buying real estate throughout Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Arlington, and other cities.
About Southern Hills Home Buyers
We are a cash home-buying service that can help you through this major life change. Our business is built on buying properties for cash in their as-is condition. We assure you that we will make a competitive cash offer, and you can bypass the expense and hassle of the sales process through a real estate agent. You do not need to go by the book to sell your home on your own or through an agent in order to achieve the results you need. We have bought many homes throughout Texas, and we are interested in buying your property.