Divorce is one of the most difficult things that many people experience. Not only are you dealing with the emotional challenges of separating from your partner, but you may also have to handle all financial matters, too. Your mortgage is likely to be the biggest asset that you and your partner own, so it is important that you are well-informed on how a mortgage affects this.
In an ideal world, matters surrounding your mortgage can be dealt with amicably, if you and your ex-partner are on speaking terms. However, if this is not the case, then you will need to understand who has a right to what. Keep reading our blog below for an answer to the questions you need.
It is common for couples in the UK to share a mortgage on a property, known as a ‘joint mortgage’. Both names will be on documentation, meaning that you are both responsible for repaying the mortgage on your house.
Even during a separation, you both have a duty to make sure that the mortgage is paid. If one party (or both) is not making their payments, then your lender can chase that person(s) for payment. Unfortunately, if the payments are not met, then both you and your ex-partner’s credit rating will be damaged, making it difficult for you to secure another mortgage in the future.
Get in touch with your mortgage provider
Regardless of the situation, it is important that you contact your mortgage provider and keep them well-informed about what is happening. If you suspect that you will fall behind on your payments, then the sooner you contact them, the better. You are their customer, and as long as you communicate consistently with them, they will try to be as sympathetic as possible and find a solution.
Options for mortgage payments
It is common, during a divorce, that your ex-partner refuses to help you pay off the mortgage. While this can often damage their credit score as much as it affects yours, sometimes during the turmoil of a divorce, they don’t care.
In this scenario, your lender can give you a few different options for mortgage repayments. Firstly, you might be able to fill in paperwork and apply for a ‘mortgage payment holiday’. This is an agreement where you are permitted to not make payments for a period (typically a few months) – although it is typically only permitted by the lender if you have an excellent track record of making payments on-time in the past. You will then come to an agreement of what your mortgage repayments will be after the ‘holiday’ period is over.
As a second option, your mortgage lender might allow you to make smaller payments for a while, until you have a plan of action.
Your mortgage options
Carry on paying your mortgage
When you and your ex-partner are going through a divorce, it is preferable for you to continue to pay off your mortgage. If you are on friendly terms, then reaching a fair resolution over the mortgage – along with other major factors such as children and significant belongings – is essential.
Transfer sole ownership
Depending on the financial situation of you or your ex-partner, one of you may be able to buy the other person out of the mortgage. This will involve transferring the property and mortgage into one name.
Keep in mind that your mortgage lender will want to see proof that the remaining occupant can afford the mortgage on their own. If not, they will usually require you to pay off the entire mortgage up-front, or sell it.
Can I sell my house before divorce?
Yes, you and your ex-partner can sell the house before the divorce if you are both in agreement to do so. If you own the house in a joint mortgage, split equally, then you will both need to agree about this before you proceed.
Selling your house can give you and your ex-partner the ‘clean break’ that you need. Once you sell the property, any outstanding debt will be taken away from the final sale price, and the amount remaining after that will be split between you and your ex-partner. WeBuyAnyHome can make this happen faster than any other company in the UK.
How to sell a house during a divorce
It is not always easy to sell a house during a divorce. If you and your ex-partner are not on speaking terms, then it may be through emails or legal representatives that communication is made. In this instance, you might want the sale to be completed as quickly as possible.
When you use a typical high street estate agent to sell your property, it can sometimes drag on for several months. This is not an ideal scenario when you want to cut ties with your ex-partner.
In this instance, selling to a cash house buyer like WeBuyAnyHome is often ideal, as we can complete the purchase of your property within 7 days. This can give you the fast, clean break that you want.
No joint mortgage
If you do not have a joint mortgage with your ex-partner, and it is only their name on the paperwork, then this does not necessarily mean that you aren’t entitled to any funds from the house.
In the UK, a family property is generally considered to be a ‘joint asset’, which means that if you are married, the matrimonial house belongs to you both. The only time there may be an issue is if your ex-partner spouse owned the property before you were married.
You should always seek legal support and guidance if you have doubts about where you stand, what happens next or what you are entitled to. Your lender can also help you to understand what the future holds.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation valuation of your property.