Divorce is not always straightforward. Complications are especially common for couples with children, lengthy marriages, and those with significant liabilities and assets. For example, divorcing with a mortgage will likely be more complicated than divorcing without a mortgage. Below is an overview of some of the issues around mortgages for divorcing couples.
Mortgage Responsibility Before Divorce
The mortgage company expects you to continue with your mortgage payments whether you are going through a divorce. You are both responsible for the mortgage payments if both of you signed the loan papers. It does not matter if one of you leaves the marital home; the mortgage company will still hold both of you responsible for the loan.
The joint loan responsibility means both of you are responsible for the loan, even if you separate. If one of you decides not to pay or cannot afford the payments, the mortgage company will hold the other person liable for the mortgage. Thus, leaving your marital home and renting another place can be expensive since you will still be liable for the mortgage payments.
Dealing With Mortgage Payments During Divorce
Couples divide both assets and liabilities during a divorce. How you deal with the property to which the mortgage attaches determines how you deal with the mortgage. Below are a few options couples usually consider.
Buying Out the Other Spouse
You can buy your spouse's share of the marital property and assume the mortgage payment responsibility. This option makes sense if you negotiate the property's division or the court awards each of you a share of the property. In such a case, you refinance the mortgage to make it entirely in your name. The title should also be solely in your name.
Selling the Property
Another option is to sell the property and divide the proceeds. You don't have to worry about future mortgage payments since you won't owe anything to the mortgage company after selling the house. You will use part of the sale proceeds to clear the outstanding loan. This option makes sense if neither of you wants to or can afford to keep the house.
Don't forget that the law has the final say on dividing the assets and liabilities during a divorce if you cannot agree with your partner on the division. Consult a divorce lawyer before making any move during your divorce. Don't listen to nonprofessional advice, for example, from well-meaning friends or family members.
For more information, contact a divorce lawyer near you.Share
28 November 2022
My name is Laura, and I am an attorney specializing in helping clients leave violent marriages. The law can help victims be safe, but many potential clients cannot afford legal services and may be afraid to pursue divorce. They may not be aware of services that have been created to keep them hidden from violent ex-partners and to help them be awarded assets in a divorce so they can provide for themselves and their families. I hope to raise awareness of these issues as well as help direct people in danger to facilities where they can receive guidance and financial assistance.