What if we own (or are buying) a house or land together?

If you and your spouse have a house or land and are considering divorce, you should consult an attorney. A lawyer can help you deal with the issues that arise in a divorce when you own a house or land.

Handling real estate incorrectly in a divorce can be costly, as in the following examples:

You could lose ownership of the property but still be responsible for the mortgage. A creditor's (in this case, a mortgage company's) right to collect a debt is not affected by your divorce decree. If you and your spouse are listed on the mortgage and the divorce decree gives the house or land to your spouse and your spouse does not pay the mortgage, the mortgage company can still come after you. This is true even if the judge ordered your spouse to pay the mortgage. A lawyer can help you figure out how to protect yourself in this situation.

You might be unable to enforce an and order that your spouse must pay you part of the value of your house or land unless this obligation is secured by a lien on the property. 

You may be unable to sell the property later without your spouse's consent. If you are keeping the property, a Special Warranty Deed giving you sole ownership of the property should usually be prepared by your lawyer, signed by your spouse and filed with the property records office.