Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznare
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, November 2, 2015

Divorce and the Shared Mortgage

From The New York Times:

Deciding what to do with the house can be a major quandary for couples getting a divorce, particularly when they share a mortgage.

When there is equity in the home, each spouse typically wants to take a share as part of the settlement agreement. But if one person wants to remain in the home, rather than sell it and split any profit, then that spouse will likely have to qualify for a mortgage on his or her own.

Spouses who choose to stay may have to refinance their mortgages in order to cash out enough equity to pay off an ex. But even a spouse who has the financial resources for a buyout without drawing on home equity will still probably have to get a mortgage in his or her name.

“The person walking away wants their share of the equity, but also wants their name off the mortgage as soon as possible,” said Kathleen B. Connell, a family law lawyer and lecturer in Atlanta.

The mortgage obligation can tie up that person’s credit, and “if there’s a default,” Ms. Connell added, “the mortgage company is going to sue them both, regardless of what the divorce agreement says.”

Read more here.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2015/11/divorce-and-the-shared-mortgage.html

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