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Shared mortgage among divorce issues

Thursday, June 29, 2017

When a couple gets divorced, they expect to have to split their combined marital assets depending on the specific laws of their state pertaining to asset division. Here in Texas, which is a community property state, assets are generally divided based upon what is "fair and right" according to the divorce court. However, a shared mortgage opens up a different set of divorce issues that must be dealt with. 

In some cases, the home is sold at market value and the assets from the sale are divided according to community property laws. In other cases, however, one of the two former spouses may wish to maintain ownership of the home and to take on whatever remaining mortgage exists. This can complicate matters to some degree. 

The trick for most couples is to determine the real cost of living in, and maintaining, the home, above and beyond the mortgage costs. If one of the two spouses is financially able to take on the whole debt of the loan as well as pay property taxes and other incidental fees involved in home ownership, the problem is less prevalent. But if neither spouse is able to take on the whole burden, other options may need to be considered, including giving the spouse keeping the home more time to increase income to be able to afford the payments.

Divorce issues can be complicated, as some Texas residents are intimately aware. However, it is possible to overcome them with the proper support and professional advice. Seeking out such advice during the course of divorce proceedings, or preferably ahead of them, can benefit both individuals involved. 

Source: The New York Times, "Divorce and the shared mortgage", Lisa Prevost, Oct. 30, 2015

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