If I divorce my spouse do we have to sell our house and split the profit?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I divorce my spouse do we have to sell our house and split the profit?

My wife of 25 years left me about a year ago. We bought a house together about 4 years ago and she hasn’t made any contribution to the mortgage since she left. My son is helping me pay the mortgage. She does let want a divorce but doesn’t want to stay together. I’m concerned that the market is going up and she is benefiting without contributing. I was the primary earner for most of our marriage but I am currently unemployed and don’t think I can get a new loan by myself. Is there a way to take her name off the loan without refinancing?

Asked on August 14, 2017 under Family Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot take her name off the home without her consent or without a court order.
If you divorce it's not a given that you will have to sell the house and split the profit: it depends on what is agreed to in the divorce or ordered by the court. This is a likely outcome but not the only one: a court could order, for example,that the house go to one of you, possibly as that one's share (or at least part of that one's share) of the marital or joint assets.
If the house were to be sold, it is likely that you would get a certain amount of credit for having been paying of the mortgage than her (e.g. get somewhat more of the proceeds).
If you're comtemplating divorce, consult with a family or divorce law attorney to understand the process, the timeline, and what will likely happen economically, given the totality of your and her assets, debts, and incomes.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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