What Do You Mean By Homestead ? If you are young and purchasing your first house, it is important to understand what the term “Homestead” means and why it is important in the realm of Family Law.
When someone refers to a homestead, they mean a place where a family makes its home. That includes the house itself and the land it is attached to. More specifically, a homestead is considered your primary residence – meaning you live there the majority of the time as opposed to a vacation home.
A person or family can only have one homestead at a time, and in Texas, there are two specific types:
- Urban homestead – This consists of no more than 10 acres of land located in Texas on one or more contiguous (adjoining) lots, along with any improvements placed on the land. It can be used as a home and a place of business, but to be considered urban, the property must be located within the limits of a municipality or subdivision, be served by police and fire protection, and have at least three services such as electric, gas, sewer, storm sewer and water.
- Rural homestead – This consists of no more than 200 acres of land located in Texas if claimed by a family, or 100 acres if claimed by a single adult, along with any improvements placed on it. These are slightly different than urban homesteads in that the property must not have the characteristics of an urban homestead, and it does not have to be on contiguous lots.
So what does this all mean to Family Law? A family’s homestead is its most valuable asset, both financially and for providing shelter and stability. It is, as they say, the roof over your head. There are protections in place for the property and those who occupy it.
When spouses own a homestead together, the property cannot be sold, conveyed, or encumbered without both spouses joining in the transaction. The only way to get around this is if one spouse is incapacitated, missing, abandoned or separated from the other. A homestead is protected from being used to pay off most debts, including unsecured debts and improperly secured debts.
If you have any questions on homestead property, the protection of those properties, or anything else we have not covered, please consult with our knowledgeable staff at Nelson Law Group, PC. We will keep your best interests in mind.
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Source: Nelson Law Group