i am filing for divorce and want to know if i would be liable to pay my spouse's mortgage loan, which is only under his name. this house is under water too.
3 Answers from Attorneys
You will most likely not be ordered to pay the mortgage, but if you have an income and he doesn't, you could be ordered to pay spousal support.
I disagree with Ms. Healy. Was the mortgage taken out before marriage? Is there a transmutation agreement with proper consideration making it his sole debt? Otherwise it is a community debt regardless of whose name it is in, and whether you could be obligated for it or not becomes quite complicated. Most likely you would not be directly responsible for it, but assigning it to him in the asset and debt allocation could result in you being assigned a greater share of other debts or a lesser share of assets. If you get the house, you could even be ordered to pay the mortgage and/or refinance it. Without a complete financial disclosure and review there is no way to conclusively answer what the impact of that mortgage will be.
You have to be a signer of the promissory note, to be liable on the promissory note. With that said, however, Mr. McCormick does make a point that the debt could be considered a community property debt. Even if it is considered a separate property debt, community property could be reached by the lender to satisfy the debt. I suggest speaking to a competent attorney as soon as possible to go into more detail regarding the loan.