A divorce can be overwhelming. You may feel as if your world is coming apart at the seams. In some senses, it is. Your family unit is being remade into two separate, but related entities. If you have children, you will have many years of interaction remaining with your former spouse, but one area where the break needs to be exceptionally clean, is financially.
This is necessary for at least two reasons. Property division in a divorce and the resulting final economic separation of your marital estate are extremely difficult to undo, if you made a mistake. Unless you can show your former spouse engaged in actual fraud in relation to the property division, it is unlikely a court will grant relief, no matter how stupid the error may have been.
The other reason is the need to make certain you do not have any unexpected financial obligations reappear in the future. For instance, if you both signed the mortgage documents and your spouse receives the home in the divorce settlement, and they fail to make a mortgage payment, the finance company will turn to you for a payment, even if you have not lived in the house for years.
The loan obligation is different from a possessory interest in the property. If one spouse is keeping the home, they must refinance the mortgage to become solely responsible for the payment.
The same is true of any other loan documents and all credit cards. Your attorney can help you go over all of your debt obligations to ensure that financial ghosts from your marriage do not haunt your future.
Source: Loan Safe, “Mortgage Options While Going Through a Divorce,” Evan Bedard, July 14, 2013