Divorce Tips For Men: What To Do With The House?

marital homeThere is way more to sort through when getting divorced than most couples are prepared to deal with: child custody, alimony, who is going to move out (divorce tip for men: don’t move out!), etc.

Even more perplexing is what to do with the marital home.

For many divorcing couples, the house, which was once their greatest financial asset, has become their biggest liability.

So couples are looking for financial advice on divorce and wondering what are the available options for dealing with the marital home?

1. Refinance

If one spouse moves out and wants off the deed, the other spouse is going to have to refinance the mortgage. Otherwise, if they keep the mortgage in both names and one of them stops paying, the other spouse is liable for the monthly mortgage payments and late charges.

So the reasonable option is refinancing, if one spouse plans on staying in the house. But with a mortgage underwater, can this even be done?

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

2. Stay

The couple can stay in the house and live separate lives. This, of course, is the definition of insanity, but there are those couples who have successfully pulled it off.

The two estranged spouses continued to cohabitate until the house sold and put them in a better financial position for re-establishing themselves. But, this would be viewed as a worst-case scenario dilemma.

It must be reiterated if both spouses are on the mortgage, it’s probable that neither spouse will be able to get another mortgage until the house sells.

Another plus on the side of staying in the house is that if one spouse moves out and the spouse staying in the house quits making payments, the spouse not living in the house would still be responsible for the mortgage payments.

3. One Stays, One Leaves

The one spouse who stays in the house and continues making mortgage payments will get credit for the principal paid prior to the sale of the house. The spouse who moved out and rented will still get credit for half of the proceeds of the sale.

Of course frequent readers of DadsDivorce.com know you should not leave the marital home. This is one of the “10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce” as outlined in Cordell & Cordell founder Joseph Cordell’s book.

Moving from the marital home increases your monthly bills and leaves you in a powerless situation with regard to what occurs in the home and with any belongings you leave there.

4. Defer the Sale

A couple can also defer sale of the house until a specific date, in the hopes that home values will rise. Both parties will still be on the deed, but one spouse will move out. This will be part of the final court order.

Still, if the spouse staying in the house defaults on the mortgage payments, the other party will end up being responsible for them.

The spouse not residing in the co-owned property will be unable to get another mortgage unless he or she makes enough money to make payments on both loans in the event that the co-owned property goes into default.

This option is not the best one and carries with it a great deal of liability.

5. Rent

Another possible choice is for the couple to move out of the house, go their separate ways and rent out their co-owned property. As long as they can keep a responsible renter in the house, this scenario is a good one.

They can wait for property values to rise (in the hopes that it will still happen within the next few years) and sell when the economy picks up again. Of course, this can be risky considering that you have no proof that the economy is going to turn around.

Again, this scenario would probably prevent both spouses from obtaining a mortgage until the house eventually sold. Some lenders may extend a loan, but it will take some work to find them.

The homeowners are responsible for the loan payments, even if the renter defaults. An obvious downside to this alternative is finding financially responsible renters.

6. Sell

If your mortgage is under water, it’s highly unlikely that you will break even if you decide to sell the house. You may be able to upgrade the appearance and ambiance of your home and break even, but this result doesn’t happen very often.

If you are on the cusp and your mortgage is paid down enough to get out of the house relatively unscathed, you may want to consult with a couple of realtors to see what improvements can be done to raise the value of your home. You never know – you may get lucky.

7. Short Sale

A short sale is when an agreement is made with the lender to sell the house at a loss. This has less negative credit consequences than a foreclosure.

There are a few caveats to going the short-sale route.

First, your credit is going to be effected negatively when you undergo a short sale. It sounds better than a foreclosure, but it is negative nonetheless.

Also, the lender may come after you for the difference of what the house sold for and the amount of the original loan.

Usually the lender will try to get the homeowner to sign a promissory note for the difference between the amount the house sold for and the amount of the loan. This “deficiency judgment” is banned in certain states.

So lenders in those states are more liable to require a borrower to sign a promissory note prior to granting the short sale.

8. Walk Away

Sometimes foreclosure is the better of two less-than-desirable alternatives. In foreclosure, there is a “redemption period,” which is a period of time that the homeowner can remain in the property before the bank can evict him.

Depending on the state you live in, the redemption period is between a year and just a few days. The redemption period can help the couple save money before they are required by law to leave the house.

One party could move out and rent, while the other stays in the house during the redemption period. The party staying in the house could be court ordered to pay half of the exiting party’s rent until the house sells and both parties are renting or purchasing separate residences on their own.

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37 comments on “Divorce Tips For Men: What To Do With The House?

    So if I keep the house and pay the mortgage, taxes and everything moving forward I will get financial credit for that when they are splitting up the equity of the house if it’s sold at some point in the future?

    Such as I pay the full mortgage for 2 years after she moves out. Then we sell. For those two years I made her portion of the payment for mortgage and taxes, I will get compensated for that upon the sale and equity divided?

    I live in Wisconsin.

    Information on this would be very helpful!!

    In NC 50/50 State. Judge awarded wife all liquid assets and ordered her to pay mortgage along with her student loans. After she moved to Tn. and refused to pay anything I filed ch 13 personal bankruptcy protection before foreclosed. Recently wife moved in with her mom 50 miles away. I know she is in contempt for failure to follow judges order. There is now less than $15,000 owing on small home and land but with her student loans total owed is 25,000.
    Have paid over $20,000 since end of 2015. I now have a serious medical problem and cannot afford both medical expense and bankruptcy payment of $770 per month.
    Any advice?

    Anyway you put it, the laws are set up in a such a way that if you are a male, your screwed. Regardless, if you are the nicest person in the world and not at fault. I have been going through a long, two year, dragged out divorce. Aside from being in the service and deploying all the time in the name of freedom, I was also a butler, took care of the kids, maid, and more. In a nutshell, her and her attorney have gone after my everything. My VA disability, military retirement (even though it is disability now), equity, and then some. The system is unfair and unjust if you are a man. These attorneys can fill you up with all kinds of legal talk but there is little they can do. Good luck to whoever here is in California. That’s were I am. Be prepared to pay at least $20K in legal fees. The only saving grace is, if both parties want out of the marriage. Then, it will be much quicker. Aside from killing myself, I am considering quitting my job, selling everything, and moving out of the country. At least, I can stretch what I have left over from my monthly payments to live somewhat comfortably at the end of the day. While you may be happier, the stress you are about to go through will suck. Good luck.

    Not all men get screwed as you put it. My husband and I had an uncontested divorce no attorneys involved. I got screwed and so did our daughter. I was awarded the house but he had this way of making me crazy, he threatened my life in the past so while I was still living there I would lock myself in one room. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to get out I was going crazy. I was told that since I was half owner on the house (not on the note) I was unable to purchase the house (wrong information) but with the state of mind I was in you could have told me the sky was green and I would have agreed. Well here we are almost 5 years later and I received a cease and desist letter that I am not allowed to drive by the house (I’m still 50% Owner) his gf is making him do all of this. So I did not flip, I went and hired an attorney so we can sell the house and I get my 50%, we received a call from his attorney that he is willing to sell and split 50/50 but wants me to pay 50% of something (three weeks have gone by and we are still waiting to see what he is talking about) in the cease and desist letter it states I have no rights in what my x does to the house (he put solar panels up two years ago) which I refuse to pay half of I did not give permission to put them up. He also changed the locks two days after I moved so I couldn’t get any of the community property, furniture that was given to me during the marriage as gifts. I did not touch his 401K I did not ask for spousal support. He has turned my oldest daughter against me where now that she has kids I can’t even see my grandsons (one is a little over a year the other is only 4 months old (I have not met the 4 month old one) and the older one I had to meet in Barnes and Noble how embarrassing). So to all the guys out there, there are some women that get screwed during a divorce. I was with this jerk for almost 30 years, did not only raise two kids, but did everything on the inside and outside of the house, he would come home and sit on his rear. Due to that I have had a three tier spinal fusion with a fracture s1 pushed 15 mm forward, back surgery failed, and now I’m going in for a total right hip replacement. NOT ALL WOMEN ARE EVIL.

    I was divorced on 2007. My ex was awarded alimony, child support and 1/2 of my military retirement. Additionally, she was given full control of the marital home until our son turned 18. I went back to court this year to terminate child support and get the equity that belongs to me of the marital home. The house was appraised at $261k and my ex claimed she was entitled to half of my equity on mortgage, taxes, insurance, and maintenance. The judge awarded her $182,035.38 to cover mortgage, taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Leaving $78,964 to split in half. Because my ex rented rooms in the marital home from 2007 to the present, I believe the court should have awarded me more than $39,482. Can I appeal the ruling?

    Informative post. Thanks for discussing and sharing about this important point. I really appreciate your post. Divorce is something that is becoming more prevalent in Western society. thats why its very important to know anyone. thanks for sharing this helpful article.

    My wife and I both work full time jobs. We have 2 small children, along with 1 from her previous marriage. I work then come home and cook, feed and bathe my children, get them into bed, do dishes and laundry. My wife suffers from bipolar and every year she decides she doesnt want to be married so she will take the kids and move out. My stress level has gotten so high that i started drinking a bit after all the chores to calm down. She goes to bed early and rises early. She has run up over $50K in credit card debt. Needless to say I have been in extreme stress and do without myself so I can make the mortage payment, bills, food, clothing, etc.. I have a degreed job so I make about 2X what she does.
    She suffers from bipolar disorder and I have tried to do everything to make her want to stay in this marriage. Unfortunatley she is very difficult and argumentative. Recently she came home and I had been drinking and she got verbally abusive. I lost my temper/mind and went into a rage, tore the living room apart, said some bad things to her as she did to me. She recorded me in my rage while she belittled me and encouraged me, all caught on video also. She called the police and I walked out to meet them. I was taken and put in a 12 hour hold. The next day she filed a restraining order, with lies that i spat on her and pushed her, so I took a few clothes and went to live with a friend that has nothing, not even electricity…This was between my monthly payday so as most of my money goes to household bills I was running low anyway. Now I find out that she has not paid the mortgage as she was supposed to do, and now I am 2 mos behind!!! She took my bank card and instead of paying last months mortgage, pocketed it and said not one word to me. She also has filed bankruptcy, and got her father to give her a car, because the one she bought without my knowledge a year ago, was too much payment for her, so it is very obvious that this has all been planned. I honestly dont have 2 mos of mortgage $ . and have to keep my job. she says she is moving within 30 days so i can have my house back, but I am honestly ready to give up. The mortgage company wont let me pay partial to catch up, want it all. Guess Ill just let it go back since less than 5K in equity. An attorney told me I couldnt NOT pay the mortgage. I might as well stop existing.

    There’s a court order my x husband is to pay the mortgage on time every month we have a court order we both fix what needs to be done so we can sell we’ve had 2 realtors who both gave us advice on the red flags he said he would fix everything but has not done a thing I want to put the house on the market asap he is now 2 months behind on the payment almost 3 I pay all the other household bills I don’t want to lose my house what should I do take him back to court if I lose my house my daughter and I will have nothing

    I moved out of my house I own about 2 years ago. My ex still lives there with her mom who is the co signer. I been trying to get them to Refi and take it over but they keep pushing it off. Is there any legal ways I can get them to refi or agree to sell?

    My wife moved for more than 6 months I had to get food stAmps for a short period to make it now she is saying she is taking them what can I do to stop her or can I,

    It is important to seek professional guidance before making a decision for divorce, even for financial reasons. Not only the money is involved but in some cases, your own personal values may have been sacrificed. Take your time to weigh the benefts before severing ties with your spouse and make sure that you can live comfortably with your decisions.

    The problem with the logic above is that the female can file a protection order against the man and force him out of the home. So tip number one doesn’t usually work to tell the man to not leave the house. The order of protection (usually falsely alleged) then forces the man out of his home .

    Yes this is happening to me now. She is now on the benefit with 7 of our kids and getting $1000 a week paying my mortgage and I am powerless.

    My wife has chosen to leave the marital home that we both jointly own.

    I have a son from a previous marriage who visits weekly, and spends time with me during school holidays. I also have a daughter from my current marriage, age 7 and it has been agreed that we will share joint custody.

    My wife wants me to buy out her share of the property, but given the situation with the children, particularly the joint custody am I required to remortgage, or in fact sell the home if I cannot afford to do this?

    Would I be forced to leave the marital home if my wife decided after 6 months that she wants to move back in and then wants me out, as I would still need to provide a home for myself and both children

    This is some of the worse advice I can think of! If there are kids, especially adult kids who are living currently in the home, perhaps they are in college or in an apprentice program and if you live where rents and real estate are at a premium, such as California or any where on the Pacific Rim, you should try to keep the house and flip it into a rental, these houses are equity heavy and can bring substantial positive cash flow, excellent for retirement income and a better investment than the market! You should re-title any Joint property into Tenants in Common and if filing for divorce allow the Judge to set the partnership percentages. Then the title should be held in either LLC or a Landtrust, this protects it and allows tax free inheritance to the kids upon either spouse or X’s deaths!

    Going through the Big D. We have three properties 1 is being sold. I am buying her out of the Main House. The third property has a rental with a long term lease. The papers read “at the time of the end of the lease the wife may retain this property as her primary residence.” We have agreed that I buy her out of the house due to the fact that she does not want the land since it was mine to start. What does this mean for me with her as the primary reidence?

    I filed divorce today and no sooner that we signed she went out and used my information to get a place what can I do.can I call the cops

    My wife and I are separated, she had moved out 6 months ago March 29th and took half of the ferniture . The house has been sold and I have got 4 weeks to move out but she wants to come back in. …..do I have the right to refuse her entry to the house until I move out

    I am going thru a divorce and my Wife and I are both on our 1st mortgage. I found out after she left that she took out a 2nd mortgage on our home in HER NAME ONLY. The 2nd mortgage is 4 times the amount we owe on the 1st. She quit paying on the 2nd almost 2 yrs ago. I tried to keep up both mortgage payments on my own, but it was too costly (the 2nd is at 13% interest!)and so I too stopped making the payments about 5 mos ago. I tried contacting the 2nd mortgage lender to discuss the loan and if I had options they wouldn’t even speak to me since my name isn’t on the loan. I live the home – my soon to be ex left several years ago- and now my house is being foreclosed on. The first mortgage has always been paid on time and as I mentioned, is 1/4 of what is owed in the 2nd. Is there anything I can do to stop the foreclosure? How did she get a 2nd mortgage without my knowledge or having to sign something?

    My soon to be ex wife Made a deal with me while living together, where because her income far outweighs my own, she would take iver the mortgage and we would split the remaining bills 65/35 with me paying cash as much as possible for childcare purposes. Well a few months in and I got a call from my attorney while working stating the wife claimed I have paid NOTHING in months and if I didn’t move out iby end of month (5days) her attorney was filing for damages etc etc So myou attorney advised me to get out asap. I did and I can’t stand it. My two kids are my life and I only see them twice per week as I now work two jobs. Is there any grounds to file a motion to get me back into the house we both own?

    Can a husband put they’re home up for sale in nc even if the wife isn’t in agreement to it an it’s in both names? They are both living there but are going thru a divorce there are no kids involved but he offered her the home an he was going to pay it off for her but she is refusing to take it so my question is can he put it up for sale without her agreeing to it? Thanks

    One of my good friends is about to get a divorce with his wife, and he’s super worried about what to do with everything. His biggest worry though is the house. He just isn’t sure what he’s going to do with it. Now that being said, I really appreciate you giving me some insight about this and letting me know what some of his options would be to do with his house. I’ll be sure to follow your insight and see how it helps. Thanks a ton for all the insight.

    What if both parties don’t want the house and you put it up on the market would both parties be responsible for half the mortgage payment

    What if both husband and wife have moved out due to wife leaving with child and husband moving to be close to child. (no issues with abuse or child neglect or any other conflict) Now wife is using house closing to get husband to agree to lesser amounts of time with child. She wants to hold up the sale of the house to get her way. Eventually the house will go to the bank, as husband cannot afford to make house, utility payments and rent etc in new location. How can this be stopped? The wife is using the house and the option of ruining the credit of both to get her way.

    i have been with my wife for 12 years. We split recently. We were trying to be civil and continue to live together until we sold the house. I went home a few weeks ago and she was snorting pills while my kids were asleep. I took the kids and a few thing and moved to a family members house. Our names are both on the lease. She is living it up and partying in our house and now she has no plans to sell. A month ago she beat me up and I called the cops. Is there any way to get her out so the kids and I can live in our house until the divorce and selling of the house is over. I’m in pa and I really need help

    When my wife and I got married, I moved into her house. My question is, in the years prior to marriage and afterwards, I have personally renovated the home and updated the residency, am I entitled to any of the appreciation value of the home? I live in VA. Thank you!

    Divorce is such a difficult thing that nobody plans for. Along with being unpredictable, there is a lot of emotion involved in divorce, and it is difficult to think straight and make logical decisions. Thank you for going over a tricky subject so well and for giving such helpful tips! I especially agree with your advice on refinancing.

    In PA can my soon to be ex charge me rent to live in the martial house that i am only one paying for? looking for help on this please.

    I moved out not knowing much of anything. I have told my soon to be ex spouse that while I am paying half of the mortgage I don’t want any other male staying the night or living there while I am paying Half. She agreed on not living there but disagreed on the staying the night. I have a daughter who stays there and has already met this person of interest not even a few weeks from her filing for the divorce. Do I have the right to tell her that while I pay half that she is not allowed to have another male stay at the house.?

    Me and my recently separated we have child I give her 600 dollars a month I child support this is not a court order. Now she is asking for to on trips with her new friends what do I

    Divorcing male wanting spouse out of the rental home they share
    What if the male is filing for the divorce and he wants the wife to move out of the home that they share . He pays all the bills and rent. Can he evict the wife ?

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