Deciding what to do with a joint mortgage after divorce

For a couple in South Carolina going through the divorce process, one of the biggest challenges they may face is determining what they will do with the family home. It is likely that, along with their pension and maybe some larger investments, the family home is the largest asset they have. In many divorces, one spouse is given control over the family home. Then, they have to decide what they’re going to do with this asset.

Some couples, especially those who have children still living in the family home, may decide to keep a joint mortgage on the home with each individual being responsible to cover their portion of the mortgage. Others may decide to refinance the family home in the name of the party who has been granted control of the home.

Others may opt to assume the mortgage of the home that they are now in control of. When an individual assumes a joint mortgage, what they’re doing is writing the other individual off the mortgage and taking on full responsibility for paying the mortgage. One benefit in doing this is that if the joint mortgage had good terms, the party who is now responsible for the home will be able to continue paying a mortgage at those rates.

Assuming a mortgage is not as easy as some think. First, some mortgages, especially those that were made after 2008, are not assumable. Second, it requires a lot of paperwork and time to be able to assume a mortgage. However, if the process is done correctly, it could mean that the individual who assumes a mortgage is able to get their former spouse out of the financial picture and keep the favorable rates.

Family law attorneys understand the laws connected to the division of property during divorce. They may explain to clients what is needed to properly place a value on assets and property that a divorcing couple owns. An attorney is responsible for answering financial and legal questions a client has and, if necessary, representing their client in court.