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How divorce affects a jointly held home mortgage

Homeowners that choose to get a divorce in Florida will need to decide how to divide their real estate. Typically, both spouses have their names on the mortgage. If they sell the home and go their separate ways, then the loan is resolved, but sometimes one spouse chooses to keep the house. In that case, the ex-spouse remaining in the home might buy out the other person's legal interest in the property as part of the divorce settlement. A buyout, however, does not necessarily resolve the existing mortgage with two names on it.

If the person retaining ownership manages to refinance the home under a single name, then the person who moved out will be free of liability for the mortgage. Some divorces, however, result in one party receiving cash while the other person continues to pay the existing mortgage. This situation could have consequences for the party who did not stay in the home.

The obligation to pay the original mortgage legally still includes both parties. The ex-spouse who moved out might encounter difficulty qualifying for another home loan down the road because of the association with an existing loan. This debt still counts toward the person even though actual ownership of the property was signed away in the divorce.

When a person wants to end a marriage, an attorney could provide information about the possible short- and long-term effects of the financial decisions made during the division of property. Representation from a Venice, Florida, property division law firm could guide a person through the process of property valuation or the defense of nonmarital assets. An attorney could answer questions before a person agrees to terms. If necessary, a lawyer could litigate the case and strive to get a favorable ruling from a family court over the disputed property.

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