Divorce and Mortgages

Posted on 12 February 2019 by grahame


We have a joint mortgage and we have recently filed for divorce, what happens to our mortgage?


If you have a joint mortgage then you both have a responsibility to make sure the whole mortgage payment is made every month.  How this is paid and who pays what proportion is down to you and your wife, as far as your lender is concerned they can pursue both of you either jointly or individually for the whole payment plus any costs or should it come to it, legal fees and any loss made when the property is sold in possession.

If either of you is looking to get the others name removed from the mortgage you will need to talk to your lender about making this change.

Normally if there is a refusal it will come down to affordability. Before removing someone who is responsible for making sure the mortgage payments are made and who in the last resort they can pursue for any outstanding debts any Lender will want to know that the parties remaining on the mortgage have the income to support it. This can make it very difficult when all you want is a clean break.

There are several steps that you can take if they are appropriate to your circumstances including:

  1. Reducing the outstanding debt to an amount that is affordable.
  2. Replacing the person coming off the mortgage with another person who can afford the mortgage.
  3. Getting a court order to remove your partner from the title of the property but not the mortgage. This would leave them in the position of having no further claim on the property but still being liable for the mortgage debt.
  4. Remortgage in your sole name to another Lender with a different affordability calculation.

If your request has been refused then the only way for you to achieve this is for the house to be sold and the mortgage repaid. With selling the property, I recommend that you seek independent legal advice before agreeing anything with your partner. As it stands you are both individually and jointly responsible for making the mortgage payments and for any debts outstanding.

Peter

Answers provided in response to Ask the experts are based on the information provided and do not constitute advice under the Financial Services & Markets Act. They reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of John Charcol. All comments are made in good faith, and John Charcol will not accept liability for them.

We recommend you seek professional advice with regard to any of these topics where appropriate.

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