When getting a divorce, how does a house with an underwater mortgage count towards dividing assets?
October 11, 2009 2:16 PM Subscribe
You're not my lawyer, but when getting a divorce, how does a house with an underwater mortgage count toward dividing assets?
posted by cnc to Human Relations (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My spouse and I are getting divorced after six years of marriage, and we're in California, if that matters. We purchased the house shortly before getting married. We paid $265,000 and borrowed $28,000 from the spouse's family for closing costs and the down payment, so the loan amount was about $237,000.
Six years later, the house is now worth somewhere between $190,000 and $200,000. We have repaid around $9,000 of the loan from the spouse's family. We owe something like $205,000 to the bank for the house.
Let's say we have $100,000 in the bank, combined. My spouse will be keeping the house. How does the underwater mortgage and loan to the spouse's family affect the dividing of assets?
Is it as simple as assets ($100,000 in cash) minus liabilities (-$15,000 underwater mortgage, -$20,000 to the spouse's family) divided by two? This would leave me (the non-home-keeper) with $32,500.
Secondary questions - my spouse will be keeping most of the furniture and household items and the more valuable vehicle. Are these factored into the assets in calculating where the cash is divided? Is retirement account value also factored in?
I know that a lawyer can better answer these questions, but I'd like to have an idea of the answers, and Metafilter isn't going to cost me $250 an hour. Thanks.