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Sell A House During Divorce In Texas

Navigating the sale of a house during a divorce in Texas can be complex and emotionally taxing. Understanding the legal and financial implications can help make the process smoother for both parties involved.

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selling house in divorce Texas

Selling a House During Divorce in Texas Guide

A divorce is usually an emotionally charged time in two peoples’ lives, and the divorce papers related to the ending of being a couple can also get complicated. This difficult situation often involves the sale of a house.

The specifics of your circumstances will affect how all of this goes, including whether your home was owned by either or both parties before the preceding marriage started and whether or not both of you want to sell it.

We at Sell My House Fast will help untangle these issues, both with this guide for Texas homeowners facing divorce and through, if you’d like, buying your home with cash without charging any costly fees or requiring any costly repairs or cleaning – i.e. we buy houses in as-is condition with cash.


How Does Selling Your House During a Divorce Work in Texas?

The process that goes into the sale of a home during divorce proceedings in Texas encompasses a number of steps to ensure that all of the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. Of course, this is greatly simplified if you two are on courteous terms and have an uncontested divorce, including being in agreement about issues such as whether you want to sell your house at all and how to disseminate the funds that would result from a sale. Regardless, the steps themselves shouldn’t change all that much; it’s just what goes into them as you work towards that sale.

Step 1: Find a Divorce Attorney in Texas

sell your home in divorce Texas

This initial step of finding a divorce attorney isn’t necessarily a prerequisite, but it’s recommended, particularly if you two fall more so toward the complicated end of the spectrum as far as these divorce proceedings go. Plus, even if things appear simple, there can still be underlying complexities that you should have a professional deal with and be able to explain to you in layman’s terms.

Each person should have their own divorce lawyer to ensure that there’s no conflict of interest.

Step 2: Determine Who Owns the Real Estate

Who owns the house that needs to be sold? It depends.

First, it’s important to determine if this piece of valuable real estate is defined as community property or separate property under Texas divorce law.

selling a house in divorce Texas

A home that’s community property will be one that was purchased after your marriage had started, with some exceptions. This is usually true even if only one person’s name is on the title.

Conversely, a home, whether it’s a house, mobile home, condo or duplex, will be defined as separate property under a number of circumstances. If the home were bought before you got married, it would fit this definition. It also will be if one party received it as a gift or through an inheritance after you got married. In fact, money given as a gift used to purchase a home would result in it being separate property as well.

Keep in mind that a gift directly or indirectly resulting in you co-owning a home could also result in it being defined as separate property. In that situation, you both essentially own half of the house.

If you two would like to convert any separate property into community property, you may do so as long as both of you agree to it in your divorce settlement or in another legally binding way.

Step 3: Decide How You Want To Sell the House

Several factors go into deciding how to sell your Texas house during a divorce.

Do you want to sell it using a more traditional method, such as with the assistance of a real estate agent? That’d be costly and involve cleaning and repairing your home and preparing it for open houses. It will also most likely take a relatively long time to finalize the sale.

sell your house in divorce Texas

Or would you like to use cash for a house company, such as Sell My House Fast? Selling it for cash would likely be the simplest and fastest option to get to a sale, as you wouldn’t need to do any renovations whatsoever. There’d also be no need to remove anything you don’t want to keep if you sell it to us for cash. Plus, there’d be a fast cash payment as the sale would be quickly finalized.

Perhaps you want to be sellers yourselves, meaning you want to go about this in a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) manner. That might save you money, but it likely won’t save you time unless one or both of you are experienced in real estate and everything that goes into the process of selling a Texas house. If you want fast cash, this likely isn’t what you should do, although selling your house to someone you know and trust will increase the positive elements of this option.

Step 4: Sell the House

Once you’re all set to accept an offer and sell your house to an interested buyer, whether for cash or otherwise, it’s time to sell that home to them to complete this sale. However, do note that sometimes sales fall through unless you use a company like Sell My House Fast, so you may need to retreat to the third step one or more times before this fourth one can be finalized.

Step 5: Disperse the Sale’s Proceeds

Once the sale is, in fact, finalized, its proceeds should be dispersed to you and your spouse. Of course, if you’ve agreed beforehand on the percentages of the sale that’ll go to each party, this will be a simple step. But if that’s not the case, you should consider that Texas being a community property state means that there’s not an assumed 50-50 breakdown of the shared assets. Various factors could sway that slightly or predominantly in the direction of one person.

sell my house in divorce Texas

Also, even if you and your spouse will, in fact, receive a 50-50 split of the total assets, that could result in you being awarded the complete funds from the sale of your home and that difference being made up to your spouse in other ways or vice versa so that the value of the total assets, not just including the house, are then split 50-50.

Of course, also keep in mind related expenses, such as property or capital gains taxes, mortgages that are being paid off to lenders so that foreclosure is avoided or are being refinanced, realtor fees if you used a real estate agent and otherwise as those will impact the details of this sale as well.

Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Texas?

sell my home in divorce Texas

If one of you wants to keep the house and not sell it, who gets it is, of course, a very important consideration. Barring both of you agreeing on who should receive it, the answer to this question depends. Even if you and your spouse agree that either you or they should receive it, that can come with related negotiations, such as also agreeing to take on its debt or splitting the equity.

If who’s keeping the home cannot be agreed upon, the judge will ultimately award it to one party while considering the big picture, ensuring that the value of the total assets is split as is appropriate.

Should I Sell the House Before or After the Divorce?

sell a house during divorce in Texas

Generally, if you and your spouse know that you definitely want to act as sellers of your home before you divorce, it’s best to go that route and complete the sale first. One of the reasons why this timeline for sale is usually better is that neither of you will feel as pressured to deal with other divorce-related factors or time restraints as you work towards this sale. However, if your divorce is not at all amicable, it may be best to wait until after.

Regardless, selling your house before or after divorce isn’t necessarily that significant of a decision, but this consideration should be discussed.

Who Gets To Stay in the House During Divorce in Texas?

how to sell house divorce in Texas

If the house is judged to be community property, then both parties possess the right to stay in the home during divorce in Texas. Conversely, if it’s deemed to be separate property, then that person, whether that’s you or your spouse, can stay there to the exclusion of the other.

Of course, if the home is community property and both parties want to stay there without the other being in the home, then it gets much more complicated, even more so if children are part of the family. In that situation, a judge will likely need to make that decision. If there are, in fact, children in the picture, the court will generally rule that the person most fit to care for them will be the one to remain there with custody of them.

Alternatives To Selling During Divorce in Texas

If you decide not to be a seller, not to have a sale of your house, you do have other options available to you. Here are three.

Co-Own the House

You and your spouse could co-own the house, although you should only go down this path if you’re on more amicable terms since this would require continued contact in the foreseeable future. In connection with that, you’d need to work out how payments for utilities, taxes, insurance, mortgages and maintenance will be handled as well as if both of you, one of you or renters, will reside there.

Sometimes, those who are getting divorced decide to co-own the home because of poor financial conditions, whether related to the property itself or to the local real estate market being especially challenging.

Buy out the Other Spouse

One party could buy out the other’s ownership of the house to complete a sale in that manner. The percentage of it that’s paid to the other depends on whether the home’s community property or personal property and other factors that are related to the divorce. Refinancing is an option to help the buying partner afford this solution to the issue.

The main benefit of this type of sale is that the home is ultimately only in one person’s name, either yours or your spouse’s. This simplifies things, especially if the one doing the buying out and staying is also primarily responsible for any children.

Divide the Marital Assets

Depending on how the division of overall marital assets is being handled between you and your spouse, you could have a solution of one person taking the house and the other receiving other types of assets to make up for that. Of course, this is only possible if there are enough other assets to create this type of balance.

Divorce House Sale in Texas FAQs

Can I sell the house before the divorce is final?

Yes, you can act as a seller before issuing your divorce decree. However, you’ll need to either agree on those specifics with your spouse or have a judge make that decision.

So, there’s nothing holding you back from selling your real estate as long as you agree on how to do so, as there would be if a probate was involved. However, if the divorce is pending and either you or your spouse wants to be a seller but the other doesn’t want that to occur, then, in most cases, the only way that this can occur is if a court order allows it to.

Is Texas a 50-50 divorce state?

can you sell a house during divorce in Texas

Texas is not a 50-50 divorce state. So, it’s not always the case that the court will rule that the total value of your combined assets, including things like your business or your house, should be divided exactly 50 50 between you and your spouse. Of course, that still happens, but only under certain circumstances.

The judge will make a “just and right” decision on who gets what related to the marital estate while taking into account various factors. These can include how long you were married, spousal needs for one or both of you related to medical or other requirements, how self-sufficient both of you are, contributions that were made to the marriage, financial conduct of you and your spouse and the exact breakdown of community property and separate property.

How do I sell my house if the other partner refuses?

Generally, the only way that you can act as a seller of your house if your spouse doesn’t want that to occur is through a court order. An exception occurs if it’s not deemed to be marital property, but keep in mind that even if only one person has signed their name on the title or deed, it might still be viewed under Texas marital law as community property. You should either receive a court decision or legal advice from an attorney saying that it’s allowed before you sell it on your own.

The Easiest Way To Sell a House During a Divorce in Texas

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If you have any further questions about how to sell your house in divorce in Texas, how we can make this process easy by buying it with cash or our experiences working with others in your situation, you or your spouse can contact our honest professionals at Sell My House Fast.

We’ll be glad to help however we can, whether that involves us buying your home as-is with cash and without any fees applied, providing useful information or otherwise. You can communicate with us at (281) 225-1729 or through the easy form on our website and speak with us then or book an appointment.

Our services are available state-wide, so we can help you whether you’re in HoustonSan AntonioDallasAustinFort Worth, Arlington, or elsewhere in Texas.

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