In Texas, the marital residence is often one of the most valuable assets that a couple owns. As such, determining who will keep the residence in the event of a divorce can be a contentious issue. In this article, we will explore the legal considerations that go into determining who keeps the marital residence in a Texas divorce.
The first step in determining who will keep the marital residence is to identify whether the property is considered separate or community property. In Texas, property that is acquired by a couple during the course of their marriage is considered community property, while property that is acquired before the marriage or through gift or inheritance is considered separate property.
If the marital residence is considered community property, it will be divided between the spouses in a manner that is deemed just and right by the court. This is typically done through a process known as equitable distribution. In determining how to divide the property, the court will consider a variety of factors such as the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, and the needs of any children involved.
In cases where one spouse has a stronger claim to the marital residence, the court may award the residence to that spouse. This can happen if the spouse has been the primary caregiver for the children, if the spouse has a disability, or if the spouse has a lower earning capacity than the other.
If the marital residence is considered separate property, it will typically remain with the spouse who owns it. However, if the other spouse can prove that they contributed to the property during the marriage, they may be entitled to a portion of the property.
In some cases, the couple may choose to keep the marital residence and continue living in it after the divorce. This is known as a “divorce in place,” and it can be an attractive option for couples with children who want to minimize the disruption to their lives. However, this option may not be feasible if the couple is unable to co-parent effectively or if there is a history of domestic violence.
In conclusion, determining who will keep the marital residence in a Texas divorce can be a complex process. Factors such as whether the property is considered separate or community property, the length of the marriage, and the needs of any children involved will all be considered by the court. It is always best to consult with a divorce attorney before making any decisions about the marital residence.