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Do i have any financial advantage if I have been paying the mortgage on the marital home now that I'm divorced 3 years??

Whittier, CA |

My ex and I have been divorced for three years. I have been paying the mortgage (taxes and insurance included) since. We do not have a judgement on the property (bad divorce) and my ex is still on the deed and mortgage. Due to my ex-husband's unemployment, I have not been receiving child support for 10 months. I have fallen behind on house and am considering taking a loan on my retirement to catch up. If I continue to pay the mortgage, if the house sells, does claim to 50% of the house?? Is what I have paid taken into consideration if and when the house sells?? I don't plan on leaving the house, but I don't want to keep paying the mortgage if he has claim to it. We paid into the house 10 years together on a 40 year mortgage and I am considering taking a loan to catch up.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. When the final division of your community property is decided the court will review all credits and reimbursements due to each party. If the house mortgage is a community debt that you have been paying post separation then you will be entitled to credit for one-half of the payments made (because each of you owe one-half of the total community obligation). However, since you are in sole possession of the home it is possible that the court will charge you for exclusive usage of the home since your exclusive usage period commenced. If there is a child or spousal support order that is not being paid it is continuing to accrue arrears and interest on the arrears and that amount can be used to offset your property charges if the court agrees with your request. You may also agree to the resolution of the above-issues directly with the other party. The terms of your agreement should be entered into a judgment that is filed with the court. Good luck to you.

    DISCLAIMER: This answer and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. You should always seek competent counsel for advice on any legal matter.


  2. If you have a home that has equity in it, it is best to hire an attorney to advise you of your rights. You may be entitled to a reimbursement for all of the mortgage payments, taxes, up-keep, etc. but maybe not. You should not assume that you will have an advantage in the property division simply because you have been keeping the loan current. You may have unknowingly given your ex-husband a huge advantage (given that the house has likely appreciated since your "divorce"). It would have been better to hire a lawyer before now to ensure you got credit for all you have put into the house--because you chose not to, the judge will decide what is equitable and you may come out ahead, or maybe not. It's best to hire a lawyer to advise you of your rights, and negotiate a settlement agreement on the house that is favorable to you. Good luck.

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the bottom of this answer. By answering this question, the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship with the asking party. The answers posted on this website should not be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not make any representations about your family law matter, but rather, seeks to provide general information to the public about family-law related matters. You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. Thank you.

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