What are the most important things divorcing couples should consider when dealing with a mortgage?
A divorcing couple should discuss if they want to keep the home, one wants to keep it (buying the other out), or they want to sell it and split the proceeds. When there is a mortgage on a house and couples are divorcing, you will need to know the law of your state in terms of if it is a community or equitable property state.
If one person wants to stay in the home and the mortgage is in both parties’ names, the divorce agreement should include a provision as to when the one keeping the home will remove the other from the mortgage and any other financial obligations.
You’ll also need to discuss with your attorney
- when the home was purchased (before or after the marriage),
- whose name is on the mortgage/deed,
- if inheritance funds bought or repaired the property.
What are the most common mistakes divorcing couples should avoid when dealing with a mortgage?
Many people verbally agree that one will remove the other from the mortgage without realizing the cost and time it takes to do that. Make sure this is clearly lined out when it will happen and the consequences if it does not.
Often people think they will be able to sell their marital home and buy a new one. However, this may not be possible, especially if one hasn’t worked outside the home for a long time.
Before agreeing to how you’ll handle a mortgage in a divorce, it is important to talk to a banker and mortgage broker, not just an attorney, to ensure that you can do what you want to do after the divorce.