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Who Should get the House in a Divorce?

Deciding who should get the house at the end of a divorce is not only a financial but also a very emotional decision. On one hand, there are emotional benefits to keeping the house,especially if children are involved. On the other hand , the house is often the couple's most valuable asset. If there is equity in the house that equity is community property (assuming the house is community property) and this equity should be divided between the parties. If you get the house with all the equity, it could mean that you get nothing else. It could mean giving up retirement, cash and other investment accounts. This is a decision that should not be made lightly.

Another thing to consider is: can you afford the house? In other words can you afford the mortgage payments and the cost of the upkeep? It is important to look at what your monthly income and expenses are going to be after the divorce is final.

Maybe the best option is to agree to sell the house and split the proceeds. Or maybe one of the parties might be able to re-finance the mortgage in a way that he/she is able to get some cash to give the other spouse his/her share of the equity in the house.

There are also times when it is more cost effective to keep the house: for example if the mortgage payments are lower than the cost of paying rent. Sometimes people find themselves in a situation where the house is not worth as much as the total mortgage debt. In that situation the parties would have to pay the difference to the bank in the event they sell it.

All of these factor should be considered before deciding whether to try to keep the house. 

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Hoppes & Cutrer, LLC
959 W. Glade Rd
Hurst, TX 76054

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