Status quo orders for paying the marital home mortgage

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

I have been paying the mortgage on our marital home recently even though I am not listed as a signor of the mortgage. My wife couldn’t manage the payments so I took them over.

Now that we are divorcing, I am saddled with this huge house payment along with huge legal fees and my wife insists I have to continue paying the mortgage.

Do I have to continue paying the mortgage even though it’s not my mortgage?

Answer:

Unless there is an order for you to maintain the status quo regarding payment of bills, you do not have an obligation to continue to pay the mortgage on the home.

However, if you stop payments, there could be consequences in your divorce case. Your wife could file a motion to have you continue to pay the mortgage through the pendency of the divorce, and a judge could order that you do so.

One option you have is to find more affordable housing. It is likely that either you or your wife will be moving from the marital home after the divorce, so looking for housing options will be necessary at some point.

If you and your wife agree on post-divorce custody and parenting time, you can move from the marital home during the divorce and begin exercising parenting time, as agreed. If you are no longer living in the home, and have a safe place for your children to live, a judge is less likely to order that you continue to pay on the mortgage.

Another option is to work with your wife and/or her attorney to sell the home. You must both consent to selling the home for it to be listed for sale.

If the financial burden is too great for either of you to maintain after your divorce, putting the home on the market now may lead to a quick sale of the home and relief from the mortgage payment. If you have equity in the home, a sale could lead to extra cash for both parties to start their new lives.

Do not rely on this information as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney immediately for assistance.

Cordell & Cordell represents men in divorce nationwide.

 

Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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