Florida couples who are divorcing and dealing with splitting up a home should take care when they make arrangements for their mortgage. Property division is a tricky subject, and it can be even more difficult when it comes to real estate and other complicated holdings. In many instances, financial institutions are bound by laws that may trump your divorce decree, so it is important that you know exactly what your legal rights look like before you hand over any property obtained during the marriage.

During the course of your property division, you may choose to submit a quit-claim on a mortgage and demand that your ex-spouse take a certain action, such as selling or refinancing the property. But, how can you be sure that your ex will comply with the divorce decree? A loan that defaults — and has your name on it — can wreak havoc on your credit report, even if you are no longer in charge of the property.

A divorce decree is not enough to magically remove your name from the mortgage. Your ex-spouse must follow property division rules to make sure your credit is protected. This is why a quit-claim is not usually seen as the best method for property division; it requires you to trust your ex to make a decision to benefit you. Instead, transferring your ownership interests to your spouse should happen at the same time that refinancing or selling occurs.

This is just one example of complex property division that can become awfully tricky without the help of an attorney. Divvying up your bank accounts, business assets and other marital property can be a big challenge. Enlisting an attorney to help you understand these regulations can help you get the job done right and promote your financial future.

Source: The Washington Post, “Breaking up a mortgage after a divorce can be tricky,” Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin, Jan. 16, 2017