Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

Family home common area of disagreement during divorce

Divorces that take place later in life, known as gray divorces, have increased more than two times since the early 1990s. In fact, marital split-ups among people 65 years old or older make up a quarter of all divorces in the United States that involve people over 50 years old. One of the biggest areas of contention during divorce in Texas and elsewhere involves the marital home.

When dissolving a marriage, experiencing a lower living standard following the divorce is highly likely. One reason for this is that, in many cases involving long-lasting marital unions, a large amount of the family's wealth ends up being tied up in their house. If one of the spouses wants to keep the house, he or she must give up other assets, such as retirement, in exchange.

A major reason that keeping the family home is often preferred has to do with the memories tied to the house. However, sometimes divorcees cannot afford the tax and maintenance costs associated with the marital homes. If they decide to stay in the homes anyway, they may find themselves cash poor despite being house rich.

Debating the division of high-value assets, such as the family home, during divorce can be challenging without a clear understanding of the law related to property division in Texas. With the help of an attorney, it is possible to fight successfully for one's fair share of assets through divorce negotiation or mediation. If such alternatives to litigation do not yield a mutually satisfactory divorce settlement, however, litigation is inevitable.

Source: wtop.com, "Over 65? How to know if you can afford a 'gray divorce'", Dawn Doebler, Feb. 21, 2017

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