A family home tends to have a lot of emotion attached to it by the people who live there and with good reason. A home is the center of a family and the place where so many memories are made, and life events are experienced. When it comes to a divorce, however, people are forced to think about their homes as just another piece of property. This can be very difficult but is wise as the decision to sell or keep a home in a divorce may have a long-lasting financial impact on one or both spouses.
When one person wants to keep the family home, perhaps to maintain consistency for the children, the mortgage must be addressed up front. As explained by Bankrate, a lender will always consider the people named on the loan to be liable for that loan, regardless of what a divorce decree stipulates. This means if a divorce decree identifies one partner as responsible for the home and the mortgage payments, but the joint mortgage remains in effect, both partners may be considered financially responsible in the eyes of the bank.
The person who wants to keep the home should get a new loan in their name only. This is the only way for the other party to ensure that they will not be pursued for repayment by the lender.
If you would like to learn more about how you and your spouse may choose how to deal with your joint home when you are getting divorced, please feel free to visit the family home and property division page of our family law and divorce website.