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Who pays the mortgage if we divorce?

A mortgage is one of the biggest financial commitments a couple can make, and if you decide to separate or divorce, the house can become a problem.

A common misconception is that if a couple divorces, the person who remains in the home is only responsible for paying one half of the mortgage. However, this is not correct, and both parties named on the mortgage are responsible for paying the whole monthly payment. This is the case for both parties if they are named on the mortgage, whether living in the property or not.

If you don’t want to remain responsible for a joint mortgage with your ex-partner, there are a number of actions you can take:

• You can take over the mortgage by buying your ex-partner out of the property. This would only be possible if you could afford to borrow the required amount, and passed a credit and affordability check.
• Selling the home is another option, whereby the mortgage is paid off from the proceeds, and any remaining cash is split between the parties, possibly used towards a mortgage in your own name.
• If you would like to remain in the house but are unable to secure a mortgage, you may be able to enlist the help of a family member who will act as a guarantor.

A CeMAP qualified mortgage advisor can help you to look at all possibilities, ensuring you make the most suitable decision for you.

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