The house after divorce


#1

Hello. My girlfriend has been divorced for 12 years. There were no lawyers involved. They did the paperwork themselves. Her ex stayed in the house which they bought together during their marriage and he has since remarried. His health is declining and supposedly in another separation currently. My girlfriend’s name is still on the mortgage and deed of house along with his. Her ex has been making the loan payments since divorce and recently she found out about a possible refinancing of the house. Should she consult with an attorney on whether or not she could be held accountable for the house if the ex defaults on a loan or is trying to refinance it?


#2

The short answer is yes, she should be worried about being accountable for the loan. She is still responsible for the mortgage, as an obligor on the same, and the mortgage company can come after her for money owed if the mortgage payments are not made.

You say that she and her ex did the paperwork themselves. If the paperwork includes a separation agreement, or some other document, she may have recourse to force her ex to refinance the home to remove her from the liability. If not ,she is still a one half owner of the property and she can be held liable for the mortgage payment if her ex does not continue to make the payments.

It seems to me based on the facts you list, her best case scenario is if her ex DOES refinance the home. She would need to sign a deed before that process could be completed.