Your home is most likely your most important asset or liability and that asset or liability will be divided during the divorce process. If you are jointly responsible for the mortgage along with your spouse, it is important to remember that the Judge does not have the authority to require the mortgage lender to remove your name from the mortgage loan obligation even when your spouse is awarded the home and is required to pay the mortgage.
However, the Judge can require the party who is awarded the home to use his or her “best efforts” to remove the other spouse from further financial responsibility. This means that the spouse who is awarded the home must make a diligent effort to refinance the home or modify the mortgage. If your spouse if unable to refinance the home or modify the mortgage you will both remain responsible for the mortgage loan. If your spouse fails to pay the mortgage loan you could be held responsible for those missed payments even though you no longer live in the home.
When going through the divorce process, it is important that you avoid the many potential pitfalls associated with the ownership responsibilities of your house. With your name remaining on the mortgage loan agreement could put you and your credit rating at risk.
CAUTION: Executing a Quit Claim Deed and conveying your ownership interest to your spouse will not protect you against the rights of the mortgage lender and could cause you additional financial and legal problems. Please feel free to request a free consultation for questions pertaining to divorce and family law.