Who pays the mortgage during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2022 | Divorce, Property Division

Divorcing couples still paying off their house must figure out how to satisfy their lender while dissolving their marriage. Spouses may wonder which of them bears responsibility for keeping up with mortgage payments.

SFGate explains which party pays off the home loan during an ongoing divorce. Partners must understand their shared and separate financial responsibilities to protect their financial health.

Joint mortgage

Whoever’s name appears on the mortgage note must keep up with payments during the divorce. If both spouses signed the note, then they must work together to satisfy their repayment obligations while ending their marriage. Neglecting to make payments reflects poorly on both spouses’ credit scores. Even if one spouse agrees to cover payments, the other spouse may suffer a financial fallout if she or he misses payments. Usually, written agreements for paying the mortgage offer better legal protection than verbal agreements.

Selling the home

If neither partner wants to remain in the marital home, divorcing couples may sell the property and use the proceeds to pay off the rest of the home loan. With this option, spouses must still discuss which of them takes care of ongoing housing expenses, such as maintenance and bills. Something else the couple must discuss is how to split profits earned from selling the home.

Buy out

Rather than put the home on the market, one spouse may want to remain in the marital home. If so, that spouse must buy out the departing spouse and pay the rest of the mortgage. Aside from buying out the departing spouse and removing her or his name from the title, the spouse remaining in the marital home must also qualify for a mortgage with her or his income alone.

Divorcing spouses must cover their financial bases. With a plan to repay the mortgage, couples have one less thing to worry about.

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