Going through a divorce is both emotionally and financially challenging. The largest financial asset couples typically have is their marital home, and determining who will keep the home and how the equity will be divided can become a serious point of contention in divorce proceedings. However, during this time, the mortgage must still be paid, and during the divorce process both parties will need to determine who is responsible for the mortgage payments.
Mortgage During Divorce
If the marital property was financed and titled in the names of both spouses, then both spouses will still be financially responsible for the mortgage payments during a divorce. Even if one spouse moves out of the marital home, if their name is listed as being responsible for mortgage payments, they will be held responsible for making them.
Mortgage Options After Divorce
There are many ways a couple may divide a marital home and mortgage payments after a divorce. Some of the most common ways are listed below.
Very commonly, after a determination of assets and debts is made, a couple will decide to refinance a jointly-held mortgage into just one name. During this process, one spouse will retain ownership and an obligation to pay the mortgage of the marital home, while the other spouse will be removed from the title and any mortgage responsibility.
It is important to ensure that the spouse who is removed from the mortgage is also removed from the title — otherwise, they will still retain ownership in the property. There are some cases where a lender will not agree to remove a spouse from the loan documents. If the home is refinanced, how much equity will be paid to each spouse will be determined through a careful analysis of finances and assets and debts. Visiting with an attorney can help ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Selling the Marital Home
Sometimes, neither spouse can afford to pay the mortgage payments of a marital home alone. In these cases, the divorce decree will often require that the home be sold, the mortgage be paid off completely, and each spouse collect their share of the net proceeds to use for a new home or property.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Unless legally determined otherwise, you will always be liable for the mortgage payments of a marital home, even if you no longer live there. It is important to have an experienced attorney help you determine the best way to handle your mortgage and marital property during a divorce, to ensure that your rights are protected.
Additionally, there are strict tax implications regarding marital property, and how that property is divided as part of the divorce agreement. Protecting your property and credit, and ensuring that you follow all the laws, can be a challenging process. Contact the Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers at 714-500-8428 or online today for a free consultation to understand your legal rights.