Should your ex keep the house without refinancing?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Division Of Property

When you’re getting divorced, your spouse may tell you that they would like to keep the family home. Maybe they don’t want to move, perhaps they think that the child custody situation will be easier if they keep the home, or maybe the house is just a major financial investment that they don’t want to lose.

Your spouse may offer to give you other marital assets in exchange for being allowed to keep the home – like a retirement account – but they want to keep the mortgage paperwork the same. After all, they are going to be going down to one income, rather than two, so they may be concerned that they won’t qualify for a new mortgage. They assure you that they are going to make their payments in the future, so should you let them have the family home without refinancing that loan?

You would still be liable for missed payments

The risk with doing this is that the mortgage lender isn’t concerned with whether or not you are married. Getting divorced doesn’t change the agreement that you made. The two of you are on the paperwork, so you are both liable for the mortgage payments. This doesn’t change just because your marriage ends – or just because your ex promises to pay the mortgage in the future.

As long as they do make those payments, this type of arrangement can work. But if they start to miss payments, then you could suddenly find yourself on the hook for the balance of the mortgage. The lender will still want to be paid, even if you haven’t lived in the house for years.

Refinancing a mortgage is just one financial consideration during a divorce. Take the time to look into all of your legal options as you work through this process.