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Property division decisions affected by home equity

For many divorcing couples in Texas, the decision-making process surrounding the end of their marriage encompasses a wide range of factors. Each couple is unique, and therefore will have their own set of priorities within their divorce. For some, child custody matters will dominate the process. Others will focus on the property division aspects of the divorce. Those couples who are homeowners will have another factor to consider: the current value of their family home.

When a divorce is pending, the manner in which the family home is allocated is usually the primary issue within the property division process. The first step in addressing the matter is to get a professional appraisal of the property. This gives spouses an idea of what the property is worth, which can then be used to negotiate the best way to handle the asset.

In many cases, couples seek to avoid a lengthy negotiation concerning which party will retain the home, and opt to sell the property and divide the proceeds. In recent years, this has proved difficult, due to a stunted resale market in Texas and across the nation. However, real estate prices are on the rise, and divorcing couples will find it easier to sell their home at a profit, as compared to recent years.

When addressing the issue of real estate and property division, it is imperative that both spouses have a full and informed understanding of all available options. This is likely the most significant financial decision that will be made during a divorce, and making a wise decision at this stage of the process can help secure financial stability for years to come. Fortunately, the Texas real estate market appears to be on an upward trend, leaving more couples able to sell their former family home and move forward with a portion of their hard-earned home equity.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, Divorce and home values: Till equity do us part, Mary Shanklin, Aug. 30, 2013

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