How to handle your mortgage in a divorce

If you are considering a divorce in New Jersey, what will happen to your house? If you are like most couples, your home is your biggest joint asset. Your mortgage may be your biggest liability. How should you handle this in your divorce?

Bankrate recommends that you sell the house. This the cleanest way to avoid future financial issues between yourself and your spouse and it can give you a better start to a fresh emotional future as well. However, many people are not able to sell their homes or perhaps they simply do not want to. What happens then?

You could consider getting creative with your approach to keeping a house and the existing joint mortgage. For example, make sure your divorce settlement clearly indicates which spouse is responsible for paying the mortgage in case that person fails to stay up on payments. Another option involves finding new ways to pay the mortgage. For example, if you are going to live in the house and your spouse is supposed to pay you alimony, let the money instead go directly to the mortgage instead of to you.

You may also request a loan assumption. In this, you or your spouse would assume full responsibility for the mortgage that is currently in both of your names. This is not always something banks will do. If your income and credit will support it, you could also try refinancing the current mortgage into an all-new mortgage in just your name if you are the one who wants to keep the house. If you are interested in learning more about how to handle a house and mortgage during a divorce, please visit the property and mortgage division page of our New Jersey divorce website.