An important issue that divorce attorneys advise clients with children about is whether or not they should try to keep the marital home.
All real estate owned by a couple, including the family home, is considered community property in Texas that must be fairly dispersed in an acceptable way or sold.
Yet when it comes to the family home, divorce lawyers find that couples with kids wonder whether the custodial parent should keep it and continue raising the children there, or if it should be sold like everything else.
Because no situation is ever the same, divorce attorneys recommend that spouses carefully consider the positives and negatives of keeping it for the kids.
The Emotional Element
Emotions run high during divorces, especially when children are involved.
In terms of deciding about what to do with the family home, divorce lawyers remind their clients to consider the emotions of the situation and how their children might be affected.
Leaving the home they have been raised in can be especially distressing to some kids, adding to what is already an emotionally-stressful situation for them.
Keeping it might be some solace in that there is at least one thing that won’t be changing; however, divorce attorneys also point out the other side of both of those thoughts, which is the concept that starting over in a new home can be beneficial for some families if the kids understand and are comfortable with the idea.
In some instances, children can find living in the same home without their second parent to be distressing.
The Financial Element
Where finances are concerned, divorce lawyers point out the obvious first consideration - can the custodial spouse afford the house on their own?
For that matter, are they also able to buy back the other spouse’s share of the equity already in the home so they can be the sole owner?
Finances are frequently the deciding factor, even if the desire is there to keep the home.
If money is an issue, divorce attorneys can work with the spouses to determine if there are other ways that the finances can be managed that make keeping the home a possibility.
Adjusting the distribution of other marital property is one way that can be done.
Lawyers and their clients must get creative at times to balance the finances when keeping a family home for the sake of the kids is a priority.
The Practical Element
Divorce attorneys also point out that there are certain practical points to consider as well when parent spouses decide on what to do with the family home.
Since the custodial parent, along with the kids, will need to relocate, distance from the non-custodial parent, school districts, affordability, legal restrictions, and many other practical issues must be considered.
When deciding to keep the home, how will all the furnishings and home-related possessions be dispersed and then how will the necessary items be replaced?
These are just some of the additional concerns that can complicate the matter, whether keeping or selling the family home.
Discuss Important Divorce Issues With A Divorce Lawyer
For some families, moving to a new home after a divorce is easy while for others, it is a heart-wrenching event.
The decision of whether to keep or sell a family home when there are children involved is no easy one to make.
Fortunately, with the help of caring divorce lawyers who understand the impact of this decision, divorcing spouses can carefully negotiate this decision and be sure to make the right one.
A divorce attorney who can help spouses negotiate for what is best for their kids, including critical decisions such as keeping or selling a family home, can make the process easier.
Schreier & Housewirth Family Law
1800 West Bowie Street, Suite 200-E
Fort Worth TX 76110
Gregory L. Housewirth is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Fort Worth Texas. With 30 years of family law experience, Mr. Housewirth has represented hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, CPS, modification, and grandparent cases. In addition, Mr. Housewirth is a qualified family law mediator and a member of Collaborative Law Texas, a practice group dedicated to promoting collaborative divorce in Texas.