When we built our house, we were living together, but not married. We took the original loan out in both our names and both names were on the deed. We later married and also refinanced. However, at the refinancing, an issue kept him from qualifying that time. So that loan, is only in my name; however, the house remain deeded in both our names…we kept everything the same at the refinancing. He’s just informed me we need to separate, so my head is spinning for many reasons. Never in my wildest dreams did I not expect to stay married until ‘death do us part’. Guess all “left” spouses say the same thing. We haven’t begun talking about if one of us wants to keep the house, or sell, or what. But my question is - Who is legally responsible for the mortgage loan…only me, since the loan’s in my name only or both of us since history can show the original loan was in both names and we’ve been married all these years, paying jointly towards the mortgage, etc… If I’m the only one legally responsible for the loan, does he still get 1/2 the value if we sell or I have to buy his 1/2 if I want to keep the house, without accounting for what’s still owed on the loan, since he’s listed on the deed? I’m still hoping we can resolve whatever mid-life crisis he’s going through and avoid all this, but I’m trying to start some research on my own, just in case legal representation is needed later.
If you are the only party on the mortgage, you are the only party that is legally obligated to the bank to make sure the mortgage is paid. Nothing about the legal obligation to the bank changes the ownership of the property, which is completely marital at this point. The value of the house and the mortgage is set as of the date of separation. If he leaves the residence, and you are solely responsible for paying for the mortgage until sold or you buy his interest out, you may be due more of the equity than him due to the change in the mortgage balance and real estate market.