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Dealing with a mortgage during divorce

Married Illinois couples who decide to split will likely have to resolve disputes regarding a range of issues, including child support and alimony. They may also find themselves having to address what should happen with the family home, which could be one of the most valuable assets they possess. In many situations, one spouse will take control of the home. However, it is important that both parties understand their options before a decision is made.

Even if just one spouse is to keep the family home, it's possible to keep the original joint mortgage for which both spouses will remain financially liable. This option may be the most ideal in situations in which there is sufficient trust between the two ex-spouses. Both parties should be aware that if there are payment defaults, both parties may sustain long-term credit damage, no matter who was responsible for making the payments.

Another option to consider is refinancing the joint mortgage. This means that the mortgage will be refinanced only in the name of the spouse who is taking ownership of the home. Such an option may be ideal for someone who wants to make a clean financial break from their ex-spouse.

If possible, the spouse who is to keep the house may try to assume the original mortgage. This may be possible if a loan assumption is something that is permitted by the existing mortgage. It is also a reasonable option if the existing mortgage has good payment terms and rates.

A divorcing spouse may be advised by a family law attorney about how to obtain desirable settlement terms. Depending on the factors of a divorce, the attorney may suggest litigation to obtain favorable terms regarding the division of marital property.

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