Some really like, and some really dislike Suze Orman, and regardless of how you feel, she speaks her mind. She recently weighed in on divorce and finances, and for the most part she has sound advice.
One thing I think needs to be clarified is that, in today’s economy, it can become impossible for one spouse to refinance the house mortgage in their own name alone. In a perfect world, yes you need to ensure you get your name off the debt so you’re not responsible, but if you both want to keep the house for your own reasons (for the children’s stability, for example, or to try to wait until the market recovers somewhat), then you can include a clause in your divorce decree that makes it clear that you are not responsible for the loan. If you can, refinance, but if you can’t, it’s not the end of the world.
October 31, 2014 at 8:59 AM
Certainly needed information when considering making the change in your life to divorce. Good information!
November 3, 2014 at 7:50 PM
My understanding is that this advice may not fully provide protection under the law. A court order from Family Law cannot limit liability to one party because it cannot over rule the legal responsibility that both parties assumed when they signed the loan documents. I would still recommend that the action be taken however, just be aware that it may not provide the full protection that is assumed. This is because the financial institution may at their discretion still hold both parties responsible. This is similar to the scenario in which a Family Law court order will identify tax deductions of the children to specific parents in certain years, even and odd etc. Family Law cannot over rule the IRS if the parent is audited/ challenged and does not meet the obligation of custody percentages to qualify. There are also additional provisions dealing with late payments, foreclosures, that may expose parents to liability that need to know and understand. Parents should seek additional information from their attorney or loan provider on each line of their court order and not just on this issue! Retired Law Enforcement Officer, Child Custody and Divorce Coach Catherine MacWillie.