Under Texas community property laws, both you and your spouse have an interest in the home where you live. If you bought the house during the marriage or used marital income to help maintain or renovate the home, then the two of you will have to share in its equity in most divorces.
Given how much real estate is typically worth, spouses may disagree very strongly about how to divide their interest in the home and also what the home itself is worth. You may point to the surge in prices in recent years as evidence that your home is currently quite valuable. Your spouse may point to the assessed value for tax purposes or what you paid when you bought the home as an indication of what it is worth.
Who decides the value of your home in a Texas divorce?
Spouses can agree on the home’s value
In an uncontested divorce where you negotiate your own arrangements for property division, custody and even support, the two of you can potentially reach an agreement about how much value you assign to the marital home.
Often, consulting with a real estate professional will be part of this process. Spouses may also pay to have an appraiser evaluate the property. In a scenario where spouses do not agree on property division matters, the courts may have to resolve conflicts, including disputes about the value of the home.
You will have the best chance of success in your claim when you have support from real estate professionals, such as an appraisal report explaining what the home is worth in the context of its condition and the sale price of other properties nearby. If the spouses produce conflicting appraisals, judges may split the difference to find a price that is halfway between the two amounts.
The home’s value can drastically affect your divorce
The fair market value of your home will likely have a profound impact on how much equity you have to withdraw for the benefit of your spouse or how much you receive if you aren’t staying in the marital home.
Spouses preparing for complex divorce in Texas involving valuable assets need to understand what their property is worth and the basics of community property rules so that they are ready to negotiate or to present the most effective case possible in family court. Learning more about Texas divorce proceedings will benefit those preparing for the end of their marriages.