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Mortgages and liabilities present property division problems

When a Colorado couple works through a divorce, they must manage many difficult legal matters. The parties must determine if and how they will seek spousal support. If they have kids, the ex-spouses must establish a child custody schedules that will meet their kids' best interests and support payments that will be sufficient to pay for their children's needs. They must also decide how they will separate their marital property and handle the debts they took on as a couple.

Often, when couples buy a home, they have their names placed on the mortgage. However, when they divorce, they must work out who will keep the home and be responsible for the mortgage. They may even establish how payments will be made on the mortgage, and if one of the parties will be absolved from financial responsibility for the home.

Nonetheless, since the property settlement agreement is not between the bank that holds the mortgage and the divorce parties, the bank is not bound to its terms. As long as both spouses' names are on the mortgage, they both will be liable for financial responsilibites.

Therefore, if a person chooses to leave their home through divorce, and agrees to allow the other spouse to stay, it is in the leaving spouse's interests to have their name taken off the mortgage. Until that action is completed, the person may be asked to pay the mortgage, despite their ex's insistence that they would pay. This is why an attorney is so important.

Source: Carroll County Times, "Is ex-wife liable for mortgage despite property settlement agreement if transfer deed is never drafted?," Donna Engle, June 9, 2017

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