Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law
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How to deal with a mortgage in a divorce

Homeowners in South Carolina who are facing divorce might wonder what steps they need to take in order to split their property. This process can be difficult enough that some divorced couples might choose to remain living in the same house if they are close to paying off the mortgage.

For those who don't want to continue living with their ex, there are other options. One person might buy out the other. To do this, the equity must first be calculated. From there, it's necessary to figure out if the equity should be split 50/50. Whether or not the couple had a prenuptial agreement, what their premarital assets were and what improvements were made to the home can all be part of this calculation.

One spouse may decide to refinance and keep the home. However, that person will need to qualify for a mortgage again. They might have to get a cosigner or make a larger down payment. Furthermore, this is not sufficient to take the other spouse off the mortgage. That spouse will still have the same financial obligations until the two complete a document known as a quitclaim deed in the presence of the lender.

Deciding what to do with the house can become one of the most difficult decisions about property division. Someone might have a sentimental attachment to a home, or the property could represent painful memories. A person should try to avoid letting their emotions override sound financial decisions, and a lawyer might be able to help guide them in this instance. For example, a person may think they should take the house and let their spouse have the retirement account. However, the retirement account might offer more long-term security than a home that requires upkeep and insurance in addition to mortgage payments.

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