Joint mortgage separation rights
Find out what your options are if you separate from your partner and how to remove a name from your joint mortgage.
Your rights if you separate
If you and your partner separate or are getting a divorce there are lots of options available when you have a joint mortgage.
Your joint mortgage will not change until you or your partner take action. This could be selling your home and splitting the money, buying out your partner or paying off the mortgage.
If you plan to sell the home, both partners need to give written approval before you can put it on the market.
Paying the mortgage after separation
Both partners on a joint mortgage need to keep paying the mortgage until a formal agreement is in place.
If you do not pay on time, it will affect both you and your partner’s credit score.
If your partner stops paying, tell your lender and get legal advice.
Your lender may be able to offer a payment holiday if you’re struggling.
Your mortgage options if you separate from your partner
You have a few options if you and your partner separate and you have a mortgage between you.
If you agree that you will continue living in the home, you could buy your partner out of their share.
This is common if you plan to stay in the family home with children.
You can then remove your partner’s name from the mortgage and put the mortgage in your name.
How much you’d buy your partner out for
The amount you pay depends on what you agree with your partner or through a solicitor.
If you decide to split the value in half then you would work out how much you’ve paid off and divide this in two. You’d give your partner that amount plus what they put down as a deposit.
So if you’ve paid off £50,000 together and your partner put down a £10,000 deposit, you would give your partner £35,000.
You could remortgage to get the money to buy out your partner.
Selling the home is one of the easiest ways of coming to a fair agreement.
When you sell you’ll either pay off the rest of the mortgage or sell and split the rest of the money.
If the amount you owe is more than the value of your home, you may have to split the debt between you.
You could keep your home and transfer part of its value to your partner.
This means you’d own the home but your partner would get a percentage of the property’s value if you later sell it.
If you’ve almost paid off your mortgage you and your partner may decide to keep paying until it’s paid off.
You could then split the money when you sell the home.
What to do if you separate
If you separate from your partner:
try to agree on what you and your partner plan to do with your home
tell your lender your situation, especially if you’re planning to buy out your partner
continue paying your usual mortgage repayments
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Your home could be repossessed if you don't keep up repayments on your mortgage.
You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.
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¹ AWH Solicitors: Home Purchased before Marriage up for Grabs in Divorce?
² Family Law Group: I Am Not Married To My Partner - What Are My Rights?