For Illinois couples, divorce is not simple when it comes to the mortgage on the family home. Spouses have a number of different options that they can pursue depending on who ends up keeping the home. The other spouse needs to take steps to protect themselves.
Which spouse keeps the home?
The first decision that divorcing spouses will need to make is who gets to keep the family home. Oftentimes, if there are children involved, the parent who has primary physical custody will retain the home. Most often, this is the mother. However, neither party may be able to afford to keep the home, and the spouses might be forced to sell. However, before you decide that you cannot keep the home, you should look at whether you can lower your mortgage payments by refinancing the home.
Take your name off the mortgage
If the other spouse is the one who will stay in the home, you need to protect yourself. Until your name is physically taken off the mortgage, you remain responsible for the debt. You would give up your ownership claim on the house and contact the bank about removing you from the mortgage. Given the low mortgage rates in the market right now, the other spouse would likely refinance with a mortgage that is only in their name. Either way, you must guard your own financial interests no matter what.
Many people in the midst of a divorce are not necessarily thinking about these issues. A divorce attorney may be able to advise you of things like this that you would be missing that could set you up for future financial risk. They may look out for your financial interests in the divorce by pointing out these considerations before you sign the divorce agreement.