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What happens to your mortgage after divorce?

Over 60 million people in the United States are married, and around 60 percent of the population owns a home. As almost 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, the combination of owning a home and ending a marriage can be extremely complicated.

Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make, but what happens when the marriage ends? If your name is on the mortgage with your ex, then you have several options to split yet another part of your life together.

You could sell the house

If you are okay with giving up the family home, you always have the option to sell the home and split the proceeds with your ex. The only issue comes when you owe more on the home than it is worth and you do not have the extra cash to settle the loan. The housing market also greatly affects the success rate of selling a home.

You can take over the payments on your own, or your spouse can

If one of you can afford to pay the mortgage on your own, then you have the option to keep the house and refinance it under one name. If you are the one leaving the home, you want to make sure your name is off the loan so you are not held accountable for any missed or late payments in the future.

You may have to come to an agreement

If neither of you can afford to sell or refinance the home, you may have to work out an arrangement together. One of you can remain in the home and the other trusts that the payments will be made, or you can rent the house out. This requires a fair amount of trust and risk, as you have no control over what your ex will do in the future.

Regardless of what you decide to do, when you are facing the complications of divorce and all that comes with it, you might wish to seek professional advice from an attorney.