Marital Waste in a down economy


My husband left at the end of Sept. 08. I was unemployed (Oct 07-04/09) due to economy and lack of work in my field of expertise. After he left we put the house on the market. My husband stopped making all payments on the first and second mortgages although he was advised at the time that the home was the largest marital asset and he should continue making the payments until the home was sold or until I could assist financially. Three days before the home was foreclosed on we received a “Short Sale” offer. The Bank accepted the offer in lieu of foreclosure. Basically 1st mortgage was paid off and the second removed their lien, however the debt was NOT forgiven. We now owe 22K on the home Equity line. Because of his unwilligness to pay and my lack of income…I was FORCED to sell and lose money. Can he be ordered to pay the remaining amount owed, instead of us splitting the debt due to “marital waste” ? Or will the housing economy and it’s decline in value weigh negatively in my favor?


You should absolutely present these facts in court in your trial for equitable distribution. If your husband had the ability to keep the home from going into foreclosure, or short sale and did not, a that is certainly waste. A judge could decide to order he pay more of the debt due to economic fault.