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What You Need to Know About Divorce and Your Mortgage

Gavel resting on divorce decree.

According to the most recent American Housing Survey, approximately 100 million American adults currently live in an owner-occupied house on which they have a mortgage. With these types of numbers, it is of little surprise that the family home is one of the most important, contentious issues in many divorce cases. For a lot of couples, a mortgage is their largest debt, and their house is their most valuable asset. You should never finalize a Florida divorce until you have fully resolved all issues related to your mortgage.

You Need to Decide What You are Going to Do With the House 

If you are getting divorced and you have a mortgage, the first question that you and your partner need to answer is: what is going to happen to the house? From a purely financial perspective, the cleanest answer is to simply sell the home and divide up the proceeds or debts. For many divorcing couples, this is not only the most practical solution, but the most desirable solution, as well. Once the home is sold, the mortgage can be paid off and it will no longer be an issue.

Of course, there are many different reasons why you and/or your spouse may not want to sell the home even after the divorce. Selling a home can be expensive. Depending on the market, and your available liquid assets, it may be difficult to get the home sold for a good price in the short-term. In other cases, you may be able to sell your home, but want to keep the home for yourself or your kids. If you are keeping the home, the mortgage must be dealt with. 

Get a Name Off the Mortgage: Refinancing  

During the divorce, it may be advisable to remove one person’s name from the mortgage. To be clear, Florida courts cannot require banks to take a name off the mortgage. That debt is the responsibility of both partners. Putting it bluntly, lenders simply do not care if you got divorced. However, a Florida court can order the spouse who is staying in the house to apply for refinancing. If the spouse who is remaining in the home has the financial capacity to get refinancing alone, this is generally the best option to get the other person’s name off of the mortgage, and also the deed to the home. As divorce cases involving mortgage issues tend to be especially complicated, it is highly recommended that you get an attorney by your side early on in the process. Your lawyer will protect your property rights and work to help you reach a fair, reasonable divorce settlement.

Contact Our Largo Divorce Attorney Today

At the Law Offices of Gale H. Moore P.A., we are proud to offer compassionate, top quality legal  guidance in divorce and family law matters. If you are getting divorced and you have questions about your mortgage, we are here to help. To set up a fully private initial consultation, please give us a call today at 727-584-2528. With an office in Largo, we serve communities throughout the region, including Clearwater, Ozona, Oldsmar, and Crystal Beach.

Resource:

census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs.html

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