California might be a community property state but that does not automatically mean that the process of splitting assets during a divorce is going to be easy. When it comes to a family’s home, many factors may play into the ultimate decision about what to do with the home and just how much it is actually worth. In many cases, at least one spouse might want to try to keep the home after the divorce.
As explained by The Mortgage Reports, there can be some pitfalls with one person retaining ownership of the home after a divorce unless a new mortgage in that person’s name only is obtained. This is because lenders can still hold a spouse liable for the debt on a joint mortgage even if their name has been taken off the deed of the home. At the end of the day, a house and a mortgage are two separate things.
For the spouse who is willing to let the other person keep the home, this means that their credit could take a hit if the other spouse does not make mortgage payments or pays them late. For the spouse who wants to keep the home, getting a solo mortgage during or after a divorce can be tricky as their income has likely dropped and their credit score may even drop due to the divorce in part because their debt-to-income ratio is not as favorable.
NerdWallet adds that another challenge divorcing couples must address is agreeing on just how much their home is worth. Getting at least two appraisals can be a good way to help come to an agreement on this.