can you sell house during divorce in Texas

Selling a House During Divorce in Texas: Guide

Going through a divorce is already stressful, but in many cases, one or both spouses also need to act as sellers of their marital home, and the red tape related to that can get complicated.

For example, was the home owned by one of you before you got married? Do you both want to be sellers? If only one of you wants the home sold and the other doesn’t, that obviously presents another barrier to overcome. And, once this is all done, how should the division of the proceeds go?

We at Sell My House Fast Now can help simplify things as you face divorce, partially with what you’re reading right now and perhaps as a result of buying that house as-is fast for cash, with completing this sale that way.


How Does Selling Your House During a Divorce Work in Texas?

In most cases, the following steps will lead right to selling your Texas house during your divorce, whether you sell it for cash or in a more traditional manner, but pay close attention to the details of the process as you go through them. In some cases, you may need a judge’s approval to do something related to this or, for that matter, related to any of your assets. Even if you believe that’s not necessary, consult with a divorce attorney before you move ahead.

divorce house sale Texas

Of course, these steps will go by much more smoothly if you and your spouse are on good terms with each other, generally courteous in your interactions, and mostly in agreement about what you want to do with your Texas home and otherwise as you finalize your divorce and separation as a couple. Conversely, things can get much more complicated and messier if that’s not the case.

Step 1. Consult a Texas Divorce Attorney

This first step is more of a recommendation than a requirement, but it’s very much recommended, particularly if you and your spouse are not in much agreement about what to do or there are red tape-related marital complications that must be untangled.

If this isn’t an uncontested divorce, you should ensure that things are done according to Texas divorce laws, related to your divorce papers, and in other ways. This is so that you can avoid running into legal issues in the future, whether from your spouse or someone else.

Keep in mind that, in most cases, you and your spouse should use the services of different divorce lawyers, not only as that relates to the sale of your house but also otherwise.

Step 2: Determine Who Owns the House

Determining who owns the house that’s the focus of this sale may not be as simple as it initially appeared. In fact, even if just one of your names has been signed on the title, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that person owns it outright.

Two valuable terms related to this are separate property and community property.

Separate property does in fact mean that the properties are separate, owned by either you or your spouse. This isn’t common, but there are some circumstances that’ll result in that determination.

sell my home in divorce Texas

A house that was bought and owned by one of you before you and your spouse got married is an example of a separate property. One purchased during the marriage usually won’t be, but individually receiving, after your wedding day, it as a gift or the money to pay for it as a gift would result in it being separate property.

Community property is, as expected, marital property that’s co-owned by more than one person – e.g. you and your spouse. A home that’s sold to one or both of you after you got married would usually be defined as such, and, as noted above, this is generally true even if only one name is on its deed.

Switching a house’s definition from separate property to community property as you head towards divorce can be done but generally requires you two to negotiate and agree to do it. Note that simply changing to having multiple names on the title won’t accomplish this.

Step 3: Decide How You Want To Sell the Home

Now that all of that’s out of the way and you’re ready to become a seller of your Texas house, the focus turns to deciding exactly how to complete this sale. Must select one of three primary options.

You could simply be sellers of your house yourselves – i.e. act in an FSBO (for sale by owner) manner. If neither of you has real estate experience, this is discouraged as the time and money that it’d take to do this is generally not worth it. However, if it’s a simple sale, such as to the other spouse or to someone else who you know and trust, that could work even if you’re both inexperienced with selling homes.

sell your home in divorce Texas

Consulting the services of a real estate agent is another option for those going through a divorce and working towards a house sale. Although using a realtor may seem like a straightforward way to go about this process, it usually isn’t. That’s because you’d normally need to handle the time and cost necessary to renovate your home so that it impresses during open houses. Also, costly fees and commissions will eat into the selling price. But this can work if you don’t mind those sacrifices and the time that it often takes to be a seller in this manner.

A third way that you can go about this is completing a home sale with a cash-for-houses business, such as Sell My House Fast Now. One of the most significant benefits of doing so is that the home can be sold for cash in as-is condition, meaning that no dealing with repairs or cleaning must be done. Also, anything that neither of you wants may be left behind; just make sure that you take things of value before you get that cash into your hands! This cash sale of the home would also be fast, and it wouldn’t require payment of any fees whatsoever – i.e. you’d only be accepting cash, not paying any.

Step 4: Sell the Real Estate

Regardless of how you proceeded through the third step, now’s the time to sell your Texas house, to complete the sale, as you continue to move towards and past divorce. That said, you may need to cycle through the third and fourth steps a few times as buyers sometimes don’t have their financing approved by their lenders, or other issues may arise. However, that’s not the case with Sell My House Fast Now as our offer of cash to buy your home is guaranteed.

Step 5: Divide the Proceeds From the Texas House Sale

The final step is when the proceeds from the Texas house sale are divided up and given to you, your spouse, both of you, or others. Of course, if you agree to the terms and if you have spousal support, this is an easy step. If you don’t, note that Texas being a community property state results in shared assets not necessarily being broken down 50-50. The divorce court will make a “just and right” decision on how much goes where.

Regardless, you may want to have all of the proceeds from this house sale go into an escrow account and have them removed from that later after your divorce’s finalized, and it’s been decided exactly who gets what part of them.

Should I Sell Before or After the Divorce Decree’s Issued?

Generally, it’s better and simpler to act as sellers of your home before divorce proceedings commence, but that’s dependent on whether you and your spouse agree on the important issues, such as if you want to sell it and where the money that’s earned from that sale will go. However, even if everything’s amicable as far as this goes, waiting to sell it is a viable option too. That said, note that you may enjoy a more significant capital gains tax exclusion if you’re still married when you put on the seller’s hat and sell your home.

If there’s disagreement as far as those important factors go, it may be best to do this sale during the divorce process or afterward, once you receive a judge’s decision or legal assistance from a lawyer on how it should be done.

Who Gets to Stay in the House During Divorce in Texas?

we buy houses divorce Texas

Assuming that both of you want to reside in the house following the divorce to the exclusion of the other, then this becomes an important question to ask. Generally, if the house is judged to be separate property, whoever the home belongs to is the one who may remain there. It gets complicated if it’s community property and both parties have an interest in remaining after the divorce but don’t want the other one around. In that marital situation, the court will specify what should become of the home as far as who lives there.

A further complication occurs if there are children in your family. If that’s the case with you and your spouse, the court will take that element into consideration while making its decision. Usually, the court decision will be for who’s best fit to take care of the kids – i.e. the one who should have custody of those children.

Alternatives To Selling to Others During Divorce in Texas

Of course, there are alternatives to selling your Texas house to someone else during divorce. If you’re thinking of taking a different route than what’s been focused on here, consider these alternatives.

Co-Own the Property

selling a house in divorce Texas

You two could simply continue to own the house. This can even involve both of you living there together following your divorce although most prefer not to do that. Examples of how this could work out without you living together include one of you remaining there while the other rents out their part of the home and neither of you living there and renting out the entire place while sharing that income.

Regardless, if co-owning ends up being what you decide to do, make sure to have an agreement in place in the divorce settlement as far as how paying for maintenance, utilities, insurance, and taxes for that home will be handled. Also, if there’s a mortgage associated with it, decide how that’ll be taken care of.

Buy Out the Other Spouse

One way that some complete this process if it’s community property is to simply sell one’s part of the home to the other spouse. For example, if it’s judged to be split 50-50 as far as who owns what percentage of it, one could sell their half to the other. If the person doing the buying needs financial assistance to complete the purchase, refinancing can often help.

Divide the Marital Assets

sell a house during divorce in Texas

Something to consider is giving one of you the complete house and the other enough other assets to bring the breakdown to either 50-50 or whatever the divorce court’s decided it should be. Obviously, this requires that there be enough non-house assets to allow that.

Divorce House Sale Texas FAQs

Can I sell the house before the divorce is final?

You can sell your Texas house prior to the finalization of your divorce, but in most situations, this sale can only be finalized in that timeframe if both marital parties agree to it or the judge allows it. Otherwise, you’ll normally have to wait to do so although you can get prepared for an expected ruling by talking to and negotiating with potential buyers.

Is Texas a 50-50 divorce state?

No, Texas isn’t a 50-50 divorce state. Although it’s very much possible that it’ll end up being a 50-50 breakdown in your case, that’s not guaranteed like it is in other states.

The judge will look to make a “just and right” decision in deciding if it should, in fact, be a 50-50 split or something else in your case. Factors considered will include the breakdown of community and separate property, financial contributions, any outstanding debts, standing and conduct of you and your spouse, and any necessary expenses, such as for medical reasons.

How does capital gains tax work in a divorce?

selling house in divorce Texas

If you’re simply transferring the house between you two, there’s usually no capital gains tax, even if a sale’s involved. However, if the home is sold to a third party, then you need to consider the implications of this type of tax. The taxable amount’s generally what’s been gained in value since it was purchased.

Also note that if you’ve owned your marital home for at least five years, an exclusion of half a million dollars is likely applicable as long as you lived there for at least two of those years.

Can I sell the house during divorce if my ex doesn’t want me to?

Generally, no, you can’t have a sale of your house during divorce if your ex doesn’t want you to. This desire usually needs to be combined with a court order stating that it can happen. One of the primary exceptions occurs if it’s viewed as personal property with you owning it, but even if you believe that this is the case, you should get legal advice confirming that before you go to sell it.

Easiest Way To Sell a House During a Divorce in Texas

Do you have any questions about how all of this works and how we can help with this aspect of your divorce, with getting this sale completed? Reach out to our honest professionals at Sell My House Fast Now, and we’ll communicate that information. If you want us to buy your house with cash, keep in mind that we’ll do it as-is without requiring any repairs, removal of items, or paying fees, all of which have the potential to be costly. We also know how to effectively navigate foreclosure situations.

Also note that we buy houses with cash across Texas, not just in our home of Fort Worth, meaning that this sale can be completed anywhere in the Lone Star State. So, not only do we buy houses throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, but our people also work in areas as varied as Arlington, Irving, Frisco, Rockwall, Houston, and Red Oak. In addition, we also buy other types of real estate, such as duplexes, mobile homes and vacant land, from those going through divorce and otherwise.

Things to Consider When Selling A House During Divorce
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

" "