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Divorce, Mortgage and Taxes

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2018 | Property Division |

For divorcing couples in Texas who own a home together, that home and its corresponding mortgage commonly represent the couples’ largest financial asset and liability, respectively. Determining how to split those two things during a divorce is no easy task, especially when emotions come into play as can happen with a family home.

If one person wants to remain in the house, whether for the sake of the children or for their own needs, MortgageLoan.com recommends that a fresh mortgage is applied for and received. This new home loan should be in the name of the person who will retain the house only, not in both spouse’s names. This is the only way to absolve the other spouse from financial responsibility for the home.

Even if one spouse signs over ownership via a quit claim deed and a divorce decree assigns responsibility to the person who stays in the home, the bank that holds the mortgage will attempt to collect the debt from the names on the loan, so any joint loan must be eliminated. If one person cannot get a new solo loan, selling the house may be the better choice.

Bankrate adds that whether one person buys the other out or whether the couple chooses to sell the house altogether, there may be tax consequences that should be factored into the divorce decree equation. This may impact the decisions made about other assets or the payment of spousal support, for example. Working with an experienced attorney during this process is very important.