Dealing with deeds and mortgages during a Missouri divorce

Posted in

Who gets the house?

It would often seem in popular media that property division is simply a process of allocating marital property to one person or the other in a divorce and the issue is done. For some types of property, the issue may be that easy. A paid off big screen television can easily be deemed to be the sole property of a spouse, and generally, that is that.

But, many homeowners have taken out one or more mortgages on a home, and deciding who, if anyone, should keep the house must take into consideration several issues. For instance, due consideration concerning the deed and mortgage obligations outside of any divorce settlement generally should be addressed during the divorce process.

For some people in the Columbia, Missouri, area, who have owned a home for many years, the homeowners may have significant equity in the home. A divorcing spouse may wish to retain the marital home, but ownership and residual debt obligations on the home should be addressed during the divorce process. A home with equity may also be sold off, with the parties agreeing to split the proceeds in the divorce settlement. But many homes may not have a market value that exceeds the debt on the home in today’s market following the financial meltdown.

There may be different ways to deal with distributing the home in a divorce, but it is important to note that the divorce papers may only be part of the legal paperwork that needs to be handled. Take for instance the title to the home. If one of the divorcing parties is top retain the home, title issues are an important consideration. A quit-claim deed may be an appropriate way to handle the title issue. That is a process where one spouse relinquishes his or her interest in the property (other legal transfers may be available as well).

But a quit claim deed generally does not affect the mortgage papers. If both spouses agreed to be liable for the mortgage, that obligation also needs to be addressed if one spouse is no longer interested in the home. The mortgage company is not a party in the divorce and has a legal contract with the people who signed the promissory note to the mortgage.

Unraveling the various parts associated with home ownership are import should one of the divorcing spouses retain real property in a divorce. A Missouri family law attorney can assist people seeking divorce to handle issues that may be associated with property division in a divorce proceeding.

Source: Loan Safe, “Mortgage Options While Going Through a Divorce,” Evan Bedard, July 14, 2013

Leave a Comment