Do you lose your homestead exemption if you temporarily live and work out of state?

Texas has a very liberal homestead exemption. So long as you've lived in Texas for 1215 days (about 3 years and 4 months) you can claim virtually an unlimited amount of equity in a home as your homestead, up to 10 acres with all improvements in an urban area, and 100 acres in a rurul area, 200 acres for families.

But if you move from your homestead without the intent to return, you have abandoned it. In that case, if you have unpaid creditors with a judgment against you, or if you file bankruptcy, you can lose the property, since it is no longer considered exempt or safe from seizure by creditors.

In a recent court case, the bankruptcy trustee was not able to prove that the debtor had abandoned her homestead. She had moved to Louisiana, but only to work, and only temporarily. The Bankrupty Court found that the debtor had not abandoned her homestead, so she did not lose it. In re Cherry Lynn McDonald, Case No. 12-37001, SD Texas 2013.