When people end up taking out a mortgage, there is a lot they need to consider. This includes the size of the down payment, the term of the loan, and the interest rate. At the same time, there are a few issues that could complicate the way a mortgage is paid off.
Nobody enters into a marriage planning on divorce; however, if this does take place, it is critical to think about how a marriage settlement agreement is going to impact the mortgage. There are a few important to keep in mind.
Refinancing The Mortgage After The Marriage Settlement Agreement
When looking at the assets that the couple shares, it is important to think about not only assets but debt as well. One of the largest sources of debt is going to be the mortgage. Obviously, it is impossible to split the house down the middle. Therefore, it is important to think about how the mortgage itself is going to be divided.
When dividing a house following a divorce, the equity should be considered an asset and the mortgage should be considered debt. Then, when the settlement agreement is finalized, the best practice is to ask a spouse who is retaining ownership of the home to refinance the loan and just his or her name. This will eliminate the liability of the other spouse and remove his or her responsibility for paying off the mortgage. This is the fair and equitable way to divide a house following a divorce.
Include the Mortgage Among the Other Assets
It is important for everyone to think about how the mortgage is going to impact other assets as well. Some of the other factors that will have to be addressed during a divorce include alimony payments, child support, credit cards, financial accounts, and other types of property. When looking at the grand scheme of things, it is likely that the house is going to be the largest asset. Therefore, it might be helpful for couples to start with the house first and then worry about the smaller issues later. That way, this will streamline the divorce process and ensure that everyone ends up with a fair and equitable divorce settlement.