Mortgage During Separation


#1

STBX and were married for ~11 years. I moved out about 1 month ago. We have not yet reached a separation agreement and he is refusing to pay the mortgage for September. He plans to refinance in his name but says he can’t afford to pay the mortgage until he refinances (despite the fact the $1500 that usually goes to me for bills has been returned to him). I realize that my name is currently on the mortgage but it seems frankly absurd that he would expect me to pay 1/2 of the expenses for a residence that I cannot reside in. He changed the locks recently without informing me.
I am willing to accept the consequences if he actually follows through with defaulting on the loan; though I suspect it is an empty threat. However, I’m incredulous that he would expect me to pay towards a mortgage on a house that I was driven out of by his emotional abuse. Can anyone point me to a resource or document that states that it is conventional for the person that lives in the home to pay the mortgage? I realize it may not be legally enforceable, but isn’t it just common sense? We have separate households now, the rent/mortgage is no longer considered a shared expense, right?!
Your thoughts and feedback are appreciated!


#2

You still have a legal obligation to pay the mortgage until your name is off the promissory note. Even though it may be common practice that the person residing in a residence would pay the bills, there is no specific obligation in our equitable distribution statutes requiring this. If you pay the mortgage, there are many ways you can argue to offset your payment with the equitable distribution order, but this won’t happen until much further down the road.

Other options include filing for equitable distribution and filing a motion for interim distribution for the marital residence, either to reside in since you are the only one who can afford it or to place it on the market before it goes into foreclosure.


#3

I see that the attorney has already responded to you, but wanted to share my personal experience. I moved out and my ex refused to pay the mortgage as well. I ended up paying for 22 months in an attempt to get an interim distribution completed b/c it was clear he was not planning to pay the mortgage and I WANTED the house. That never happened (who knows why…but I couldn’t get my attorney to push getting it settled).

In the end, he’s lived in the house for 4 years without making a mortgage payment. The house was awarded to him in the equitable distribution even though he hasn’t paid a dime on it in 4 years. House is in foreclosure. I filed bankruptcy.

The mortgage company doesn’t care whether you are living there or not…if your name is on the mortgage you are equally responsible.
And from my experience, common sense doesn’t play into a divorce no where, no how.


#4

I can’t even believe that there is another man on this planet that would behave the way my husband is!!
Lives in the house, rent free, won’t pay mortgage, also changed the locks, didn’t tell/ask me, didn’t give me a key, but he wants me to pay 1/2 the mortgage!! what hes asking me to pay, exceeds my income, and he knows that… I also left because of verbal and emotional abuse. The house is up for sale, but I told him that if he can’t pay then he needs to leave so I can rent it…he won’t, he says he’s not leaving until the house sells…it’s not a crime to be a grown man and act like a child and be mean and spiteful just because? There should be.