The Law offices of Arnold & Smith - John Price Carr House
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Our office continues to operate during our regular business hours, which are 8:30 am - 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday, but you can call the office 24 hours a day. We continue to follow all recommendations and requirements of the State of Emergency Stay at Home Order. Consultations are available via telephone or by video conference. The safety of our clients and employees is of the utmost importance and, therefore, in-person meetings are not available at this time except for emergencies or absolutely essential legal services.

Mortgage Payments, the Marital Home, and Divorce

If you are considering filing for divorce in the state of North Carolina, you likely feel overwhelmed with the number of decisions that need to be made. Everything from child custody to child support calculations to the equitable division of assets within the marriage needs to be determined. If you do feel overwhelmed, obtaining the advice of an experienced family law attorney can help guide you through the process and ensure that your legal rights are always protected. There are many considerations regarding every aspect of divorce, and some of these may slip through the cracks if they are unnoticed or unknown. One of the most important items on the list is the issue of mortgage payments with respect to the marital home. Read on to learn what your responsibilities are with respect to one of the most significant and important financial assets involved in your divorce.

Mortgage Payments

The short answer is that under all circumstances, mortgage payments must be made on the marital home by both spouses if they are listed on the mortgage lending documents. Even if you are going through the process of a divorce, and even if you are no longer living in the marital home, you still have the legal obligation to make the mortgage payments. Even if you do not plan to live in the marital home following the divorce, if your name is listed on the mortgage lending documents, you still have a legal obligation to make those mortgage payments. Therefore, if one spouse refuses to make their portion of the payments toward the mortgage, the other spouse will remain fully responsible for that mortgage payment. Both spouses always remain fully responsible if they are listed on the mortgage lending documents, even if they are going through the divorce process.

Leaving the Marital Home

A very common scenario is that one spouse leaves the marital home prior to the actual divorce. It is important to note that in certain circumstances, a family court judge may take this action of leaving the marital home into consideration regarding who receives the marital home following a divorce. Consulting with an experienced divorce attorney can help you make the decision whether or not it is right for you to leave the marital home prior to divorce. However, do not hesitate to leave your marital home if you are being threatened with any kind of physical abuse, or if your children are being threatened with any kind of physical abuse. If this is the circumstance, visit with law enforcement immediately, or contact a domestic violence association, leave the marital home immediately and seek safety. Your physical well-being and that of your children are much more important than remaining in your marital home.

Mortgage Payments Following Your Divorce

During the process of divorce, different options will be provided to both you and your spouse regarding how to handle the large financial asset of the marital home. One of the ways this substantial asset can be divided is to sell the property outright and then divide the proceeds equitably between both spouses. The determination regarding the calculation of the equitable division of marital property will largely consist of several complicated financial considerations. If one spouse wants to keep the marital home, and the other spouse agrees to that, then the spouse remaining in the marital home will have to pay out the other spouse their share of the equity accumulated in the marital home. This is only possible if his spouse is able to refinance the entire home individually and under their name. If they are financially able to do this, they should also remove the other spouse from the title of the home. If they do not remove the other spots from the title of the home, then the other spouse will still have a legal right to the property.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney

You will always remain legally liable for all mortgage payments in full on a marital home until the decision is made to sell the property outright, or the other spouse refinances the property in their own name, or you refinance the property on your own. Consider visiting with an experienced family law attorney in order to help ensure that you handle the division of all of your property and assets within your divorce correctly and ensure that all of your legal rights are protected. Contact our experienced family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Monroe, North Carolina at 704.370.2828 or online today for your initial consultation.