Can My Spouse Stop Paying the Mortgage during a Divorce?

Divorce is one of life’s most consequential transitions. If this is the situation you find yourself in, you almost certainly have plenty of questions – not the least of which is how you are going to handle paying your mortgage if your spouse suddenly stops making the payments. Because there is so much to consider, working closely with an experienced Georgia divorce attorney from the outset is well advised.

Your Separation

Prior to a Georgia divorce, you and your spouse must separate, but this does not mean that your finances will magically separate. The fact is that the mortgage company is not interested in who pays your mortgage – as long as it gets paid. If your spouse is the primary earner in your family and takes care of the mortgage, the prospect of whether he or she will continue making the payments or not can be terrifying. Your home, however, is very likely marital property, which makes your mortgage a joint debt – which leaves your divorcing spouse just as financially obligated as you are.

Marital Property

Everything that you and your spouse purchase and/or acquire over the course of your marriage is marital property – regardless of who makes the purchase, whose name is on the deed, or who makes the payments. The very few exceptions to this rule include:

  • Inheritances made in one spouse’s name alone
  • Gifts made in one spouse’s name alone

That property that either of you brings into your marriage and keeps separate throughout will remain your separate property, but this is a high bar and is very unlikely to apply to your family home. In other words, your mortgage is almost certainly a joint debt that your divorcing spouse also remains responsible for until your divorce is finalized and the loan is transferred to one or the other of you (usually via a buyout) or sold.

If Your Spouse Isn’t Paying the Mortgage

If your spouse simply stops making mortgage payments, it’s a problem that you should address immediately with your dedicated divorce attorney, who may need to file a motion with the court. The bottom line is that your soon-to-be ex remains just as financially responsible for your shared mortgage as he or she was before (even if only you are living there while your divorce is pending). Because the court does not appreciate financial antics like these, your spouse’s actions could affect the terms of your divorce.

Don’t Wait to Consult with an Experienced Georgia Divorce Attorney

If your spouse is playing financial games while your divorce pends, it’s a serious matter that deserves careful legal attention. The dedicated divorce attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland – proudly serving both Forsyth County and Cumming – have reserves of experience helping clients like you obtain fair terms that work for them throughout the legal process, and we’re here for you, too. Your case is important, so please don’t wait to contact or call us at 770-887-1209 for more information today.