Mortgage options during divorce

| May 6, 2021 | blog, family law |

When people get divorced in New Jersey, one of the most common issues that they might have to address is what to do about their mortgages. In most marriages, both spouses will be listed on the mortgage. When they divorce, they will want to separate their finances so that the spouse who will not remain in the home will not be responsible for the mortgage any longer. There are a few options that couples have for dealing with their mortgages during divorce.

Refinancing

If one spouse wants to remain in the home, he or she will likely need to refinance the mortgage to remove the other spouse’s name. This can be problematic if the spouse who wants to remain does not have sufficient income to qualify for a mortgage on his or her own. Spousal support may be counted as a part of the spouse’s income to help to qualify. However, a spouse who wants to remain in the home will also need to consider whether he or she will truly be able to afford the mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and upkeep before deciding to keep the home. If the couple has built equity in the home, the spouse who wishes to remain could apply for a cash-out refinance to pay the portion of the equity owed to the other spouse.

Selling

In some cases, it might make the most sense for a couple to sell their marital home and move into new homes. Selling the home might also be necessary if a spouse who wanted to remain in the home cannot qualify for refinancing. In the marital agreement, the couple could agree to a deadline by which the remaining spouse should refinance the mortgage. If that deadline is not met, the couple could then put the home on the market and split the profits. However, it can take some time for a home to sell, and both parties will need to ensure that the payments are kept current while it is on the market to prevent their credit from being harmed.

People who are going through divorce have many things to consider and address. A family law attorney may help his or her client understand the available options and protect the client’s interests.