If you decide to end your marriage, you may still be responsible for paying the mortgage on the family home. Although Georgia law uses equitable distribution rules for property division purposes, a divorce decree has little impact on a mortgage contract. However, there may be steps that you can take to get out of the loan if that’s what you want.
The home loan doesn’t change
The terms of your home loan won’t change just because you decided to get a divorce. If your name is on the mortgage, the lender can choose to go after you for payment if your spouse fails to make payments. If your name is the only one on the mortgage, the lender won’t attempt to make your spouse pay anything. If a judge has ordered your spouse to make payments, your only recourse is to take your former partner to court for failing to do so.
Sell the house
In most divorce cases, a family home is sold, with the proceeds being split between both parties in the marriage. When the home is sold, the mortgage is paid off with funds from the sale. Therefore, the loan is considered paid in full, and there is no need to make future payments.
Refinance the loan
Another option is to refinance the loan so that it is in your spouse’s name only. When the loan is refinanced, you will receive a payout equal to whatever portion of the home’s equity you are entitled to in the final settlement. Alternatively, you can refinance the loan so that your name is the only one on it as the sole owner of the property.
In a divorce, you may be entitled to more than just the family home. For instance, you may receive a portion of funds in your joint bank account, a car or other items owned jointly before the end of your marriage. You may also receive child support, alimony or other resources from your former partner as part of the divorce settlement.