House payments during separation


#1

I am considering separation. I work, but my spouse is unemployed. We have a first and second mortgage in both our names. If I move to an apartment, will I still be responsible for the 1st and 2nd mortgage payment? Or would my spouse be required to contribute a percentage of the payments during the separation period?


#2

Yes, you will be responsible for the mortgages as you are listed on the loans. Your spouse cannot contribute to the payments without a source of income.


#3

Thanks for your prompt reply. My spouse is a professional engineer, and has other qualifications, but shows little initiative to combat underemployment. Spouse is using up retirement funds. If we separate, could spouse be legally required to use some of those retirement funds toward mortgage payments during the separation period?


#4

No, the court will not order that retirement funds be depleted to pay the mortgage.


#5

Hello again,
I’m still married, and my spouse is still unemployed. We’ve been using his retirement assets to help make our 1st and 2nd mortgage payments, and we’re thinking of combining both mortgages and refinancing, based on my income. Both mortgages and the deed to the house are in both our names.
If I agree to refinance based solely on my income, would it make sense for me to ask for a quitclaim deed to put the house solely in my name? If the title and the mortgage are in my name only, and I choose to legally separate/divorce at a later date, would the house be considered 100% mine? or could he still claim part ownership?
Thank you.


#6

I would normally recommend that if you are refinancing into your sole name that you have him execute a quit claim deed to you contemporaneously with the refinance. If there’s any equity in the house, you should pay him half of that since the house is marital property. However, if you are doing this while still married and living together, he will still have a marital interest in the home even with the quit claim deed.


#7

Thank you so much, Ms. Russ. Your response was immensely helpful, and timely.
Thank you, Rosen firm, for such a generous, helpful website. Happy holidays!


#8

You are very welcome! Good luck to you.