As the Coronavirus continues to impact our communities, our focus at the Law Offices of John A. Guthrie is on the health and safety of our employees and clients. We remain committed to providing service to our clients during this time. To do our part in slowing the spread of the virus, we will be transitioning all current and prospective client meetings to Zoom video conferencing and/or telephone conference. To our current clients, we will be coordinating with you to organize these calls. Please feel free to call our office at any time. Stay well!!

Law Offices of John A. Guthrie - Family Law Attorney

Finding Solutions For Family Law Problems Since 1990

You’ve Got Questions; We’ve Got Answers

A mortgage can complicate a divorce

When a California married couple purchases a house together, both of their names are usually included on the mortgage. If the couple goes through a divorce before the mortgage is paid off, they could be linked by their mortgage document for many years to come, because altering a mortgage can be difficult.

Though divorced spouses may give their property rights away with a quitclaim deed, they won’t be removed from their mortgage obligation until it is refinanced. To get the mortgage refinanced with just one person’s name on it, the ex-spouse that gets to keep the marital home will have to qualify for a new loan with just a single income.

Divorced spouses who earn enough money may be able to get their mortgage refinanced. However, there are many who cannot pass the lender’s eligibility test once their ex-spouse’s income is not included with their own. A person who does qualify for refinancing may be asked to make a bigger down payment. In some cases the interest rate will not be as favorable as it was on the earlier mortgage. These issues can make home ownership a significant financial burden after a divorce.

California is a community property state, and thus a judge will divide marital assets and debts equally during the property division phase of the process. Of course, a family home can not literally be divided in half, so the estranged couple can often, with the assistance of their respective family law attorneys, negotiate a settlement agreement that deals with this issue and which then can be presented to the court for its approval.


Findlaw Network