If I’m getting divorced and am not staying atour house, can I stop paying my half of the mortgage?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I’m getting divorced and am not staying atour house, can I stop paying my half of the mortgage?

My wife is living (with her mom who has moved in for a while from CO) at the house that we own and pay mortage on together. She has all my stuff and everything; I haven’t removed any property from the house yet (as we haven’t divided anything up yet). She has gotten all the unitlities in her name. If I stop paying my half of the mortgage, how would that look to a judge? I’m not doing it to be malicious, its just that I just don’t live there any more.

Asked on April 22, 2011 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, financial obligations that were being paid before separation should continue to be paid (e.g. mortgage, car loans, health insurance) until a court order is issued (e.g. final divorce decree) or a legal separation agreemnt is entered into.   Additionally, your failure to pay could possibly play a factor in the distribution of assets. 

You need to be aware that your marital condition has nothing whatsoever to do with your mortgage obligations per se since your lender doesn't care if you're single, married, divorced, separated, annulled, etc. The total amount due under the mortgage must be paid; if it's not, the bank can foreclose and take the house, then potentially sue for any additional balance due.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Speak with a family or divorce attorney before doing anything. First, it will probably look bad to the judge, and could also affect distribution of assets (e.g. because you stopped paying what you should, that will likely, in one fashion or another, be taken account of in support and/or asset distribution). Second, if you stop paying, your wife could, even outside of the divorce proceeding, sue you for your contribution; if she can't or won't pay the full amount herself, the mortgage will be defaulted on, which could result in foreclosure (losing the house), being sued by the bank, and/or a serious negative impact to your credit rating. Your desire to not pay is natural; but there are serious ramifications you need to discuss in detail with an attorney first. Good luck.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption