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How to handle your mortgage in a divorce

If you and your spouse purchased a home together, property division can be a particularly complex issue to tackle. You will first need to determine whether one of you will maintain the home or if you intend to sell it.

Experts recommend selling after a divorce, but regardless of what you choose to do, there are a few things you should know about handling a joint mortgage after you file for divorce


You will still be responsible for payments

According to Time, you are still liable for payments after your divorce until you sell the home or have your name removed from the mortgage. Some people mistakenly assume that their ex will take care of removing them from the mortgage, but it is better to handle this yourself and ensure that it is completed successfully.

The deed and mortgage are separate

Even if you take your name off of the deed, however, your name will likely remain on the mortgage, and you will thus retain liability for its payment. In many circumstances, refinancing the home will be necessary in order for one spouse to retain the mortgage while relieving the other of responsibility. This can be a hassle, but it is worth it if either of you is committed to keeping the home.

You can split equity in a sale

For former partners who opt to sell the home, any accumulated equity will likely be split between you two. This can provide a nice financial cushion for starting over or finding a new home to buy or rent. It also provides closure to many and ensures you never need to worry about the mortgage again.

Negotiating property division is complicated, but enlisting help from an attorney can simplify matters. Contact a lawyer for help with your mortgage or any other part of your divorce today.