Divorcing couples who jointly hold a mortgage may agree that one spouse will keep the family home by buying out the other’s interest or trading it against another asset. Of course, because both parties’ names are on the mortgage, the spouse retaining the home must refinance the mortgage to remove the other spouse’s name, clearing the way for that spouse to purchase another home or otherwise secure credit because they will no longer be obligated to the mortgage of the marital home.
Sometimes this is smooth sailing, other times it does not go according to plan. There have been cases where the spouse who remains in the family home fails to refinance the mortgage in a timely manner, leaving the other spouse in a lurch because they cannot obtain needed credit. The occupant spouse may also neglect to pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance on time, impacting both spouse’s credit ratings, or fail to maintain the home which can result in a depreciation of the asset.
When these type of issues arise, it is recommended that parties to a divorce seek legal counsel for help. It may be a matter of securing a court order to compel a spouse to sell the marital home to pay off the mortgage, setting a deadline to agree on a realtor and sign off on a listing agreement. While he house is on the market, the order can further require that a spouse make timely mortgage, tax and insurance payments and maintain the home.
The best laid plans often go awry, and certainly problems can arise following a divorce including issues such as the disposition of the marital home to parenting time disagreements. Many problems can be avoided by reaching comprehensive divorce settlement agreement in the first place, but when post divorce issues arise, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. Contact our Libertyville family law attorneys today for answers to your questions regarding the division of marital assets and debt, parenting time and responsibility, or other family law issues.