If you and your spouse are in the midst of a divorce and they have indicated a desire to keep your family home after your divorce is final, you should understand how allowing this may impact you down the road. Parents understandably want to maintain any stability possible for their kids during a time of transition, and this may be part of why you feel compelled to let your spouse keep the house. However, you must also protect yourself financially.
Mortgages, divorce decrees and your lender
You and your spouse might have the terms of your divorce outlined in a divorce decree quite clearly and these terms may indicate that they are the party who will stay in the house and be responsible for the mortgage payments. That, however, does not protect you in the eyes of your lender. As explained by The Mortgage Reports, if your joint mortgage remains with your name on it, you may be pursued for repayment if your spouse fails to make a payment.
Refinancing is important
The only way to avoid future financial liability for the property is to ensure your spouse gets a new mortgage in their name only. This may need to be one of the requirements of allowing them to stay in the home after your divorce.
If you would like to learn more about some of the unique issues you may face and how to protect your financial future when getting a divorce, please feel free to visit the mortgage and debt division page of our New York divorce and family law website.