Home ownership and divorce

Divorcing couples in Texas should carefully review the consequences of one person keeping a family home after the divorce.

Loss is a difficult but inevitable part of any divorce in Texas. This sense of loss can be related to the loss of dreams and hopes for one's future and also to the loss that may be experienced of actual belongings or assets. A marital home is one of those things that is often sold when a couple gets divorced.

In some situations, one person keeps the home which might at first seem like a good option but spouses considering this should give it careful thought before agreeing to this route.

What's wrong with keeping my home?

Certainly nothing is wrong with wanting to keep a home but there may be challenges with financing this decision. As explained by Bankrate, a spouse who wants to stay in the house should get a new mortgage in their name only.

This may not be as easy as one might think as a single person's income will be less than their married income. In addition, if that spouse has to pay either spousal support or child support, there will be even less income left with which to qualify for a mortgage.

Why should I worry if it is my spouse that wants to stay in the house?

If one person is willing to leave your home and it is the other spouse that wants to stay, the person leaving should be particularly interested in the other one obtaining a new mortgage. That is because they could be liable for the debt if the remaining spouse fails to make the payments on time.

According to Time Money, even after signing over their portion of a home's ownership to a former spouse, the original loan is in both names making both people responsible for the amount owed. Both people's credit could be damaged by late or missed payments as well.

How can I get a new mortgage?

The Mortgage Reports indicates that some loan providers like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac might have programs to help divorcing spouses refinance into their own name. There may be requirements like being able to show that they have solely paid the existing mortgage for a period of time before they can qualify for a new solo mortgage.

How can I understand my options and make the right choice?

Working with an attorney when getting divorced in Texas is always important. This gives people someone to work with who can present their entire divorce settlement to them in a holistic context and help them see the full consequences to any decisions made.