5 Things to Know About Handling Your House During Divorce

What happens when you divorce and you own a home together? Sorting out your living situation during divorce is one of the most difficult parts of dissolving a marriage, so it’s no wonder why many people make major financial and legal mistakes when deciding what to do in a divorce when a house is involved.

If you’re trying to decide what to do with your home during a divorce, you’re not alone. A study done by Bowling Green State University shows that 59% of divorced adults reported being homeowners in 2021 — that’s three-fifths of the United States divorced population.

There are, in fact, many decisions to make. Will one of you keep the home or will you sell it? As real estate problem solvers, Big State Home Buyers can help you evaluate your options.

1. Divorce Laws May Differ By State

One of the most important aspects of handling a divorce is understanding the laws in your state. It’s imperative that you consult with a licensed attorney before making any decisions, but doing your research prior can help you prepare for your initial consultation.

Who gets the house in a divorce in Texas can differ from other states, and going into the process without a clear understanding may hinder the process and lead to complications.

Texas is a community property state, meaning all assets acquired during a marriage are split between spouses equally. Additionally, any separate property — property acquired by a single person — refinanced during the marriage or new debts taken out against separate property becomes community property.

If you don’t want to split your new property with your soon-to-be divorcee, don’t purchase anything unless your pending divorce has been finalized. Luckily, Big State Home Buyers has quick access to legal experts in order to help facilitate the process of selling your house during your divorce.

2. You May Not be Able to Afford Your House After The Divorce

If you have a mortgage you might not be able to keep it.

Many loans require both spouses' income to qualify. When divorcing, if one party aims to keep the house, that spouse will need to refinance and qualify for the mortgage based on just one income.

Often, the remaining spouse is unable to qualify based on a single income. A 2021 study found that only 18% of women were single homeowners, and men at a lower percentage of only 9%. Even if you can qualify for the loan, you’ve got to decide whether or not you can carry a large mortgage on your own.

What if the mortgage is paid off? It’s no secret that houses have higher utility bills, and require upkeep and near-constant stream of maintenance expenses, not to mention rising property taxes.

Ask yourself if you can afford a $1,500 AC repair. What if the water heater blows out? That’s another $1,200. The home represents the largest percentage of most people’s budget, and divorce may be an ideal opportunity to downsize.

3. Be Aware Of Your Rights

You need to be careful not to sign over your rights.

People reviewing legal paperwork with statue of Lady Justice on the desk

If you’re abandoning the home, you might not want your ex to stay there, even if they’re getting primary custody of the kids. If your ex can’t afford to refinance but wants to keep paying the mortgage you may be asked to sign a “warranty deed.” If you do, you could be opening yourself up to a potential financial disaster.

A warranty deed is a legal way to transfer interest in real estate property. Signing this deed in a divorce gives the other party full rights to the home, but your name remains on the mortgage. You will still be held accountable for any missed mortgage payments and your credit score will be affected.

Remember, the deed and mortgage are two different things, and the deed cannot remove your name or responsibility from the mortgage.

Another important thing to know about warranty deeds is that if you sign one, you are forfeiting the right to sell and profit from your home. For example, if you sign a deed because your ex wants to pay the mortgage, but cannot afford to refinance. Now that your name is off the deed of the home, your ex can sell the house at any time and will not owe you anything.

4. Should You Sell The House?

In a divorce who gets the house? It may be best to move past the emotions invested in the home and sell it rather than deal with the head and heart aches.

The court will most likely encourage you to sell the property. The advantage is that your mortgage gets paid off, and if anything remains you and your spouse will generally split the proceeds. Neither party gets the home, but everyone walks off into a new life with a fresh, clean start.

It can be hard, but this is the smartest and cleanest way to handle your home during a divorce.

5. Consider Any Court Deadlines

When a judge forces the sale of the marital home, they will set a deadline. Given current averages in how long a home remains on the market in DFW or Houston, home sales can take 30 to 45 days.

This means selling through an MLS listing and a real estate agent may not be your best bet, especially if your home has liens or needs repairs.

Selling Options For Your House During Divorce

Couple seeing options for their house during divorce

When it comes down to the best options for a house in a divorce situation, selling as-is to a real estate investor may be your best bet. At Big State Home Buyers, we help sell homes quickly!

We can make an offer in as little as 24 hours and can sell the home for cash even if it has issues. We help divorcing spouses resolve their property matters so they can quickly comply with court orders and get on with their lives.

Start Moving On Today

Get a fair cash offer today START HERE ... only takes 30 seconds!

Confidentiality guaranteed
No commissions / fees
No repairs or updates
No risk or hassle
Simple 3 step process
Fair cash offers
Fast No-cost closing
Google five star rating badge
Trust Pilot 4.5 star review badge
Facebook 5000+ likes badge
Better Business Bureau A+ rating badge