Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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Divorce and mortgages

Deciding who gets what in a divorce in Minnesota can be tough, especially if the split is not an amicable one. A mortgage is often one of the biggest assets a couple has together. There are some measures that can be taken to keep the situation from becoming messy. According to Time, Inc., divorcing couples should try to resolve their mortgage concerns before their split is final. Any decisions that are made should be done with all emotions and personal feelings set aside. Both parties should not have any expectations and they should be prepared to sell or refinance the mortgage if necessary.

If their home’s market value is down and both parties can reach an agreement without any issues, it may be more beneficial for them to continue to live together. Once the market value of the property improves, they can then decide what to do with the mortgage.

Divorcing couples are not obligated to give up their stake in their home if they are in agreement about how to manage it. Renting is a popular option for agreeable former spouses who no longer intend on staying in the marital home themselves, but are not quite yet ready to sell it. Former spouses who decide to rent their homes out should remember that they are taking on the role of co-landlords with their ex-spouses.

A quitclaim deed should be used as a last resort because it can have a very negative effect on one’s credit scores, especially if the mortgage hasn’t been completely paid off yet. If one person no longer wants anything to do with the home and is willing to forfeit their stake in it, they can sign a quitclaim deed. Doing so only eliminates the signer’s rights to the home. However, their name will still be on the mortgage and they are still responsible for any late or missing mortgage payments.

There are several ways that mortgages can be handled in the event of divorce. Soon-to-be ex-spouses should examine their financial situations, work with a mortgage professional and keep a clear head when making decisions, states Drkarenfinn.com.

Careful and logical consideration should be given to the whole situation before any resolutions are reached. Divorcing couples should also consider talking with a professional to ensure they are taking advantage of the best solution possible.

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