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Let’s Talk About That Mortgage!

Equitable distribution is a mouthful that describes the division of the parties’ marital assets and liabilities during a divorce. We divorce lawyers aim to protect our clients’ assets. We also help divide up what has been accumulated during the marriage- the cars, the boats, the furniture, the bank accounts, the pensions, IRAs, jewelry, collections and electronics! Yes, equitable means fair, but during a divorce it doesn’t always seem that way. One of the problems most divorcing couples face is who will take over the mortgage on the marital home. Remember, both of you signed that note when things were going well. The bank is an institution and it does not have feelings and it does not “care” that you are getting a divorce. The bank sees only that two of you signed a contract to pay. The judge cannot force the bank to change the obligation on the note as part of the divorce decree.   

Before you visit a lawyer you might check with your mortgage holder to see if one of you qualifies for re-financing the marital home in your individual name. Sometimes the only way out is to “partition and sell.” That means the two of you will divide the net proceeds after the sale. Remember, it takes time to sell a home. If your relationship has deteriorated so you are not communicating, you may have trouble cooperating through the marketing process- especially after the divorce is final. Most folks do not wish to remain jointly liable with their former spouse for anything. If neither party can afford a buy-out, or if there is little equity in the home, the divorce may force a move for both of you.  
The real estate market in Volusia and Flagler County is on the upswing. Homes are selling faster and prices are rising. If you are considering a divorce, now would be a good time to discuss your position with one of our experienced Rice & Rose family law attorneys. Call to arrange a one hour consult to discuss your particular situation. We are here to help. (386) 257-1222. 
Posted on July 6, 2015