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What options do you have for removing your name from the mortgage post-divorce?

There a multiple avenues that divorcing couples can decide to take concerning the martial home, meaning the primary residence where they once built memories or even raised a family together. Indeed, they can decide to sell the house, hang onto it until a favorable time to unload it arises, or agree that one of them will keep it, refinancing the mortgage in the near future in order to remove the other spouse's name from the loan and the deed.

As reasonable as this last option seems, what happens when the former spouse who has opted to keep the home has been less than diligent in their efforts to assume sole financial responsibility for it, meaning securing the necessary refinancing?   

Experts indicate that in the event a former spouse finds himself or herself in this unenviable position, they should take some solace in the fact that they are not completely powerless.

First and foremost, they indicate that the former spouse should be heartened by the fact that because their name is still on the mortgage and title, their former spouse is essentially prevented from doing anything -- selling the home, refinancing, etc. -- without first securing their signature.

This means that the former spouse has a certain amount of leverage in that he or she can ensure that the terms of any potential sale or refinancing deal dictate that the proceeds should be used to pay off the existing mortgage, thereby removing their name from both the mortgage and the title once and for all.

Second, experts indicate that while the former spouse always has the option of asking their ex to move forward -- perhaps pointing out the hot real estate market, highlighting low interest rates or even offering to cover closing costs -- they also have the option of going before a judge. Specifically, they could request an order requiring the otherwise solvent spouse to proceed with the previously promised refinancing.     

If you have questions regarding this issue or property division in general, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can provide answers and pursue solutions.

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