QUESTION: My spouse and I have separated and I continue to live in our matrimonial home and make all payments relating to the house (mortgage, hydro, taxes, etc.).   I plan to buy my spouses share of the home but I’m wondering if I’m going to be compensated for making these payments.

Separation, Divorce and Household Payments: Who Pays the Mortgage When One Spouse Has Moved Out?

 Your spouse has moved out, but you are still living in the marital home. The mortgage still has to be paid. The taxes are still due. The roof still needs work. And the grass still has to be cut. Who pays these expenses? Are they all your responsibility or can you ask your ex for help?

In most cases, the spouse who plans to stay in the marital home is responsible for making all payments related to the home and its upkeep. This includes the mortgage, homeowner’s insurance, real estate taxes, repairs, and landscaping. If you keep the home, you won’t be compensated for these payments when the property is divided.

But, what if you are the lower income spouse and you can’t afford to maintain the house on your own? You have the option of selling the home; however, this can be difficult if it is the only home your children have ever known. If you plan to live in the house with your children, you can request spousal support to help pay for the costs of keeping and maintaining the home.  A common solution is to have each spouse be responsible for a portion of the house payments. The spouse who does not keep the house is awarded a future lump sum return for their equity in the home. They will receive this sum when the house is sold.

If neither spouse can afford to pay the mortgage, the property may be sold. Once the mortgage or loan is paid off, and the net proceeds will be divided equitably between the spouses. The spouse who has paid the mortgage, taxes and upkeep will be credited for his or her contribution.

The divorce attorneys at Petrelli Previtera believe in finding creative solutions to the problems that arise during divorce and separation. Let us help you find the best solution for you and your family. Call 215-523-6900 to schedule an appointment.