For the average married couple, their home is the most valuable asset that they own jointly. The monthly payments they make on their mortgage may represent a third of their income. They may invest even more than that in repairs and upgrades, like new kitchen countertops or a replacement roof.
When couples divorce in Texas, their marital home will become the focal point of their divorce litigation. Each spouse may want to retain the property, or they may disagree very strongly about the appropriate value of the property if they want to sell the home and share the proceeds.
For a tiny subset of divorcing couples, the goal during property division proceedings will be to negotiate joint ownership arrangements rather than for one spouse to keep the house or sell the property. What are the most common reasons that people maintain joint ownership after a Texas divorce?
They don’t want to sell with an unfavorable market
When the market is hot, sellers can command premium prices for their properties and may even enjoy a bidding war where multiple buyers make the best possible offer in the hopes of buying the home. When the market softens, sellers will face not only lower sale prices but longer listing times and more demands from the buyers. People may try convincing the seller to pay the closing costs or to absorb certain repair expenses.
If you believe that your property would be worth substantially more if the two of you continue making repairs or wait for the market to change, that may be a powerful motivator to negotiate continued joint ownership. You can then later sell the home for the price that you hope to secure.
They want to limit shared custody stress
When parents share custody, their arrangements can be very stressful for the children in the family. The kids may spend hours in the car every week traveling back and forth between houses and may not feel fully comfortable in either of their new bedrooms. Adjusting to new school districts and new spaces can exacerbate the already stressful process of witnessing a parental divorce.
Parents can try birdnesting, especially if they have younger children, a large family or children with special needs. Birdnesting involves the children staying in the family home while the parents live there during their parenting time. Instead of the children constantly traveling between homes, it is the parents who relocate when they have custody.
Either of these situations would be a reason to negotiate with your ex to maintain shared ownership of your home after your divorce. Thinking outside of the box can help you achieve the best possible property division decisions in your upcoming Texas divorce.