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What are Marital Liens & Lis Pendens in Texas Real Estate?

As a Realtor, I understand the importance of providing clients with comprehensive knowledge, especially when it comes to aspects like marital liens and lis pendens in Texas real estate transactions. I specialize in assisting couples who are going through divorce by acting as a Receiver appointed by the courts to help them sell their home. Having experienced divorce myself and equipped with expertise in navigating sensitive situations, I aim to empower clients with valuable information to protect their interests during these challenging times.

While I offer valuable insights based on my experience, it's essential for clients to consult with an attorney to ensure they have a complete understanding of their legal obligations and rights during divorce proceedings. My role is to provide guidance and support in real estate matters, but legal advice should always be sought from a qualified attorney to address specific legal complexities. By working together, we can navigate the real estate aspect of divorce with clarity and confidence, ensuring that our clients' interests are protected every step of the way.

In divorce proceedings, you may encounter concepts like lis pendens and marital liens. While they might seem intimidating, they're actually important tools that both buyers and sellers should understand. Let's dive into these concepts to empower clients and safeguard their interests during divorce proceedings

Lis Pendens: Protecting Your Property

Lis pendens acts as a warning sign in real estate, particularly during divorces, signaling a legal issue involving the property. This prevents transactions without acknowledging the problem. As a Realtor, informing clients about lis pendens prevents unintended entanglements in legal matters when purchasing property, like during a divorce. It's about ensuring a smooth and lawful process!

In simple terms, lis pendens, or "suit pending," is a public notice filed in records, informing potential buyers or creditors of ongoing legal action against a property. It alerts about disputes over ownership or title, such as in divorce or foreclosure cases. While it doesn't signify a financial claim, it highlights potential legal risks for interested parties.

Marital Liens: Safeguarding Property Rights

In simple terms, marital liens ensure the security of your property during a divorce. Informing clients about marital liens helps guarantee their property rights. These liens act as markers on real estate, indicating one spouse's claim. This prioritizes their interest, even amidst other debts. Understanding marital liens instills confidence in clients during real estate transactions, knowing their interests are safeguarded.

Marital liens are financial claims placed on real estate in divorce settlements, representing one spouse's stake in the property. They protect the interests of the spouse awarded ownership or equity during divorce proceedings, ensuring their rights are upheld over other creditors or claimants.

Unlike lis pendens, which signifies a pending legal action,

marital liens specifically relate to property division in divorce cases.

Consider these scenarios:

Kevin, the sole owner of several rental properties, decided to sell one of them without informing his spouse Kathy during their divorce proceedings. However, Kathy saw one rental was missing and she brought it up. Despite Kevin's assumption that he could sell the property independently, the court deemed the sale invalid, safeguarding Kathy's stake in the property. The buyer had to give the house back. (Can you imagine being the buyer?) HAD A LIS PENDENS been in place, the Buyer would have been aware of the legal issues of the property. This example highlights the significance of comprehending and employing legal measures like lis pendens in Texas divorce cases to protect property rights effectively.

In a divorce settlement, John was granted ownership of the family home. However, to ensure that Sarah received her share of the equity from the property, a marital lien was placed on it. This lien guaranteed that when John sold the home, Sarah would be entitled to receive her portion of the proceeds, reflecting her financial interest in the property despite not retaining ownership.

Lis pendens and marital liens are issued in different circumstances during legal proceedings:

Lis pendens is like a heads-up at the start of a lawsuit, such as in a divorce or foreclosure case, when there's a disagreement about who owns a property. It's a public notice that tells potential buyers or creditors that there's a legal fight over the property. This helps them know about any risks before they get involved.

This notification is crucial for buyers as it informs them about potential risks associated with purchasing the property. It allows buyers to make informed decisions and assess whether they want to proceed with the purchase, considering the ongoing legal uncertainties. In essence, a lis pendens helps buyers understand the situation before they become involved in any legal complexities or disputes surrounding the property.

Marital liens are like a safety net set up during a divorce to protect one spouse's financial stake in a property.
They're created when one spouse gets ownership or a share of a property as part of the divorce settlement. These liens make sure that spouse's interest in the property is safeguarded, putting their claim above other debts or claims.
Marital liens come into play because of a specific court decision or agreement made during the divorce process.

If you're facing divorce and have concerns about protecting your property rights or encounter a property with a lis pendens, I hope this brief article has provided some insight. My aim is to alleviate stress during this challenging time, and I'm here to assist you with any questions you may have about listing your home during divorce or navigating other life changes.

Feel free to reach out for guidance and support. Remember to consult with an attorney for all legal matters. I collaborate closely with attorneys and courts to ensure a hassle-free, discreet, and compassionate process for you.

Amanda Allen, Realtor


(903) 603-0648


Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you have any questions or if there is a real estate-related topic that you would like me to cover in a future blog post, please don't hesitate to let me know. I value your feedback and am always looking for ways to provide informative and engaging content for my readers. If you do suggest a topic that I end up writing about, I would be happy to give you credit for the suggestion.

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