Mortgage Foreclosures and Divorce

As the Florida and national economy and housing markets continue to struggle, many people have made the decision to allow their homes to go into foreclosure and to "walk away" from their mortgages.  Some even continue to live in the home without payment as their foreclosure case progresses.  

In a Florida divorce case, an issue can arise when one spouse wishes to "walk away" or stop paying the mortgage for any number of reasons.   The other spouse may not agree for an equal number of reasons, including not wanting to risk a foreclosure on his or her credit, not wanting to risk losing the marital home and wanting to preserve marital assets.

In a recent Florida divorce case in Tampa, a Judge would not allow one spouse to "walk away" from the marital home and leave the other spouse solely responsible for the mortgage.   The Judge decided that the home was a marital asset for which they were both responsible.   The Judge decided that both spouses would have to pay their share of the mortgage each month until the divorce became final and it was properly decided what would happen with the marital home.  

While the facts of every case are different, and every Judge is different, the important thing to take away from this Judge's particular ruling is that while a divorce is pending in most cases in Florida, the parties have an obligation to remain current and responsible on marital expenses and responsibilities.  Normally, the status quo is supposed to remain in place until the case is finalized.   This can help protect spouses from financial struggles during a divorce, it can help protect children, it can help protect marital assets, and it can help ensure that an equitable resolution can be reached at the end of the case.   It is important to speak to an expert Florida family law attorney if there is concern that one spouse will shut down financially during a divorce case or to ensure that the family is taken care of during the divorce process.   A Robert Sparks Attorneys family law attorney will be able to assist in analyzing what relief you may receive after a review of your particular case facts and situation.