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Why people should avoid keeping the marital home

Texas residents may feel like the best option is to keep a marital home after a marriage ends. However, this may not be the best choice from a financial perspective. For many, it may be difficult to pay a mortgage, property taxes and other expenses related to a home on a single income. Those who manage to pay those bills may not have anything left over to save or for emergencies.

Furthermore, getting the house may mean giving up a portion of a joint savings or investment account. When it comes time to sell that home, there is a greater chance of owing capital gains taxes on profits from the sale. For married couples, the capital gains tax exemption is $500,000 while it is only $250,000 when a single person sells a home.

In many cases, the decision to keep a marital home is one based on emotion. For instance, people may feel guilty about selling a home that their children grew up in. They may feel like it is wrong to not provide a familiar setting for their children regardless of their age. Moving in itself to a smaller home or apartment may be a stressful experience during what may already be a stressful time in a person's life.

When a marriage ends, the couple's marital property will need to be divided. As Texas is a community property state, courts will generally divide such assets relatively equally. In order to keep the decision out of the hands of a judge, many couples seek to negotiate a settlement, often with the help of their respective family law attorneys.

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